Oldham Council imposes restrictions on licensed premises
Mon 23 Nov 2009
Oldham Council's licensing committee is to turn its attention to supermarkets after clamping down on the activities of bars in the town.
Council officials decided to take action after concluding that cheap alcohol was the cause of many of the disturbances seen in the town centre in the evening.
Those problems led to large numbers of young people viewing Oldham town centre as a no-go area in the evening.
Councillor Mark Alcock told the Responsible Drinks Retailing Conference that strong measures had been taken to improve the situation, reports the Morning Advertiser.
The steps included reviewing the licences of pubs and bars, and imposing unusual trading restrictions on some establishments, including the use of post office-style queues.
Mr Alcock said the action had proved successful and would now be extended to supermarkets which sell alcohol, but expressed his surprise that the owners of the bars concerned had not raised more objections.
Robert Botkai, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "Oldham Council is threatening to review off licences with the objective of imposing restrictive trading conditions. The majority of on licensed premises did, in fact, resist having conditions imposed and I expect that the off trade will resist these measures also.
"If a licence holder is given any indication that a review is likely, advice should be sought urgently."
Changing the terms of licences is not always straightforward, as police in Windsor recently found.
The Maidenhead Advertiser reported that officers had asked the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's licensing sub-committee to cut Mantra Club's opening hours following a series of incidents at the venue.
However, councillors rejected the request after hearing arguments from the nightclub's legal team.
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