This evening Cllr Parnell and I met with Council Officers from the Licencing and Trading Standards Departments and with members of the local Police.
We met to discuss the problem of street drinking in and around Shirley Road and Shirley High Street. This is a problem I have been highlighting consistently for the past 2 years as I get regular complaints from local residents.
I have raised the matter in Full Council meetings, the media and at the city's Safer City Partnership.
Tonight's meeting was the second of a number of meetings that are being held to look at possible solutions to the problem. The matter is now being taken very seriously. The Police are planning to be a lot more robust in challenging street drinking, new signs are going to be put up, the police have recruited some local Polish volunteers to help communicate the message that street drinking should not be taking place, and a range of licencing proposals are being considered which should have a positive effect.
Sadly the city council has just granted another alcohol licence in Shirley Road. On the plus side the licence comes with a string of new conditions - for instance banning the sale of single cans of beer, which the police feel will make substantial difference. I am hopeful that these conditions can start to be applied to other existing off licences in the area.