Councillors enforce public drinking ban

COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of banning people from drinking alcohol in public places in their town centre, in a bid to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

By John Howard

COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of banning people from drinking alcohol in public places in their town centre, in a bid to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Under a Labour proposal to Stowmarket Town Council, an application is to be made to Mid Suffolk District Council for a ban on drinking in public places within Stowmarket.

If finally ratified, the ban could cover the town centre, main shopping streets, the areas surrounding the town centre supermarkets and station, and the recreation ground.


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It would give police officers the power to confiscate booze and anyone who refuses to surrender their alcohol could be fined.

At Wednesday night's council meeting Labour town councillor Duncan Macpherson proposed that the application should now be made to the district council, and town councillors agreed.

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Mr Macpherson said after the meeting: “We know that a ban of this kind won't cure nuisance drinking in public all by itself, but it will be a useful tool for local police, who can enforce it.

“It also sends a clear message that the local authorities don't want to stop people having a good time, but we do want to put an end to ugly public drunkenness through the day where it goes hand in hand with drinking in public places.

“We know from the initial consultation that there was plenty of support for the idea, and councillors have seen how successful a similar scheme has been in Woodbridge.

“By making this application and giving it proper publicity, anyone with views for or against can now make them known to the district council before any decision is made.”

A ban on drinking alcohol in Stowmarket town centre has been welcomed by Suffolk Constabulary.

Mike Nunn, a force spokesman, said: “We welcome any additional powers to assist us in dealing with people drinking alcohol to excess in town centres.

“The move was welcome when it came into force in Bury St Edmunds and we are hoping it will have the same success in Stowmarket.”

Colin Sloan, corporate legal adviser for the district council, said the matter will be considered by the authority during January.

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