Hadleigh: Town calls for action on no-alcohol zones

COUNCIL chiefs have denied they have been “sitting on their hands” over an application to introduce alcohol control zones in a Suffolk town.

Councillors and police in Hadleigh want to bring in a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) which would enable police officers to take alcohol away from people who are drinking it in public areas of the town.

Hadleigh officer Pc Matt Paisley believes the DPPO is needed, as does Hadleigh district councillor Brian Riley, who accused Babergh District Council of allowing the application – first proposed two years ago – to “drag on”.

A DPPO is put in place by the district council and has to be agreed by the full council before it can be implemented.

A Babergh spokeswoman said the process was “complex” and required extensive consultation with a range of organisations, licensees, landowners and the public.

She added: “The process is statutory and therefore not one that can be shortened or curtailed by the district council.

“There are a number of factors affecting the progress on this issue and it is very much not the case that Babergh has been sitting on its hands and delaying things.

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“Several matters have been dealt with and significant progress has been made.”

Although there are currently no towns in Babergh with DPPOs in place because crime levels are relatively low and falling, the authority has been working with the police and community safety partnerships to identify all areas where the order could have benefits.

The move is to combat the relatively new issue of alcohol consumption by groups of teenagers and young adults.

But while Hadleigh is keen to bring in a DPPO, Sudbury has rejected the idea. Both Babergh and the police have identified the town as an area that could benefit from the order, but its town council has voted not to support it. Town clerk, Sue Brotherwood, said: “We decided to say no to a DPPO because we believe the police have sufficient powers to deal with the problems already and that it is not needed.

“We asked the police if they thought it would make it easier if we had signs up in the town to deter people, but there were questions about how the order would be policed.

“In the end, the council did not feel it would be a benefit to the town.”

The plan for the Hadleigh order is expected to be complete in the next few weeks and it will then be released for public consultation.

A similar alcohol control order operates in Aldeburgh.

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