Councillors arrange 'pub crawl'

FOR some people a night out pubbing and clubbing followed by a late-night kebab is nothing more than fun.But at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, a night on the tiles is being classed as research-based training.

FOR some people a night out pubbing and clubbing followed by a late-night kebab is nothing more than fun.

But at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, a night on the tiles is being classed as research-based training.

Arrangements are currently being drawn up at the council, for groups of councillors sitting on the licensing and regulatory committee to spend weekend nights at a range of venues in both Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.

The itinerary currently being drawn up by council officers includes spending time at pubs, a nightclub and then a “late night refreshment establishment”.


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The idea behind the nights out is for council members to “gain experience of issues associated with licensed premises”.

The night-owl councillors will be visiting the various establishments between 9pm and 1am.

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Terry Buckle, vice chairman of the council's licensing and regulatory committee, told yesterday how he had already seized the initiative and had been on self-arranged visits to see Bury by night.

Mr Buckle, a licensee, said: “They were brilliant and a real eye opener as I had never really realised what it was like.

“I have been on three site visits with the police. They were really useful. You could see how alcohol related disorder was a problem.”

He said it was unlikely any councillor would be drinking during the night visits and added that the whole idea was for councillors to see the night scenes of Bury and Haverhill for themselves.

Sheila Wormleighton, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: “If you're making decisions, you have got to know what you're talking about.

“They should be doing this. Being out and about experiencing it all for themselves will be a good thing. Many people get to an age where they do not go to pubs or nightclubs and it is not quite like some people's imaginations would have them at all.”

But Mrs Wormleighton did demand that all drinks bought during the night-time research visits be paid for by the councillors themselves.

The councillors will be accompanied during the visits by police officers and officers from the council's environmental health team.

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