More parts of Worcester to be protected from new pubs and clubs

The Guildhall, in Worcester

The Guildhall, in Worcester

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A CRACKDOWN on new pubs and clubs opening in Worcester is on the verge of being extended - in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Worcester City Council and West Mercia Police are teaming up to focus on a raft of central streets which they want to see protected from any extra late-night venues.

Under the agreement 10 extra streets will be earmarked for special protection, meaning an investor is unlikely to get council permission for a pub or club to open up there.

It includes Queen Street, Angel Row, Crown passage, Trinity Passage, The Avenue, St Swithins Street, Mealcheapen Street, Reindeer Court, Church Street and Bank Street.

The move was backed by the city council's licensing committee on Wednesday night despite bad-tempered clashes with rival politicians over which streets to include.

The police wanted five streets - Friar Street, Quay Street, City Walls Road, Bridge Street and Deansway - to be kept off the list on the grounds they had no crime concerns there any more, but the committee disagreed.

Under the new list, which is going to full council for a vote before it can come into use, in each street there will be a presumption of "refusal" for any new alcohol venues unless a bidder can prove it will not increase crime.

Councillor Roger Knight said: "I'm strongly in favour of making additions to this policy but I wouldn't want it weakened.

"The decisions we make over new venues are strongly influenced by it - the presumption of refusal is a very effective tool in policing the city centre."

Councillor Paul Denham agreed, saying there was "no logical reason" to leave the streets off.

But Councillor Richard Udall said: "This is the second or third time in recent years we've added streets to this list and that makes me nervous, because we are intervening in a free market.

"We are potentially preventing establishments from opening."

During the debate he criticised Tory Councillor Allah Ditta, saying the committee chairman "doesn't have a view" despite his ward covering the city centre.

Cllr Knight said it would be "irresponsible and juvenile" to take streets off the final list, but Labour Councillor Jo Hodges countered by saying it was "logical" to keep crimes with low crime rates off it.

During a vote the committee agreed to add all 10 new streets to the list and not remove any, taking it to 32 in total.

The updated list, known as the 'cumulative impact policy', is expected to come into force from July subject to full council approval.

Comments (3)

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5:22pm Fri 13 Jun 14

dropkick55 says...

New pubs and clubs?
We can't even keep the old ones we like to go to!
New pubs and clubs? We can't even keep the old ones we like to go to! dropkick55
  • Score: 17

10:07am Sat 14 Jun 14

gmoore1207 says...

the final list, but Labour Councillor Jo Hodges countered by saying it was "logical" to keep crimes with low crime rates off it.what does this mean please edit these things properly
the final list, but Labour Councillor Jo Hodges countered by saying it was "logical" to keep crimes with low crime rates off it.what does this mean please edit these things properly gmoore1207
  • Score: 5

3:19pm Sat 14 Jun 14

DarrenM says...

In a nutshell then the police are incapable of upholding the peace, so we'll just stop more licensed premises from opening.

Worst Farcia can't stop Burglaries either, so will there be planning restrictions on building new houses next?

Then to add to this, in locations where they have no problems all the the council are still going to prevent more licensed premises from being opened (on the off chance that someone did want to open a new business there), for reasons which presumably must remain secret,

Unless "a bidder can prove it will not increase crime." - And how exactly are they supposed to go about proving a negative then?

"saying there was "no logical reason" to leave the streets off." - Obviously his definition of logical varies from the rest of the world..

Farcial......
In a nutshell then the police are incapable of upholding the peace, so we'll just stop more licensed premises from opening. Worst Farcia can't stop Burglaries either, so will there be planning restrictions on building new houses next? Then to add to this, in locations where they have no problems all the the council are still going to prevent more licensed premises from being opened (on the off chance that someone did want to open a new business there), for reasons which presumably must remain secret, Unless "a bidder can prove it will not increase crime." - And how exactly are they supposed to go about proving a negative then? "saying there was "no logical reason" to leave the streets off." - Obviously his definition of logical varies from the rest of the world.. Farcial...... DarrenM
  • Score: 5

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