Ipswich pubs lock out on Derby day

PUBS in Ipswich are being told not to open their doors before kick-off time on the day of the forthcoming East Anglian football derby.Landlords opening up before 12pm on Sunday, December 21, when Ipswich Town take on Norwich City at Portman Road , could see their premises closed down.

PUBS in Ipswich are being told not to open their doors before kick-off time on the day of the forthcoming East Anglian football derby.

Landlords opening up before 12pm on Sunday, December 21, when Ipswich Town take on Norwich City at Portman Road , could see their premises closed down.

Members of the Ipswich Pubwatch group met yesterdayto discuss arrangements for the day of the game and Christmas opening hours. Police were also at the meeting to give advice and make suggestions.

Pub bosses are being advised to serve drinks in plastic bottles and glasses on derby day.

Michael Collins, chairman of Ipswich Pubwatch, said: "It is going to be an extremely busy day – particularly as it is the last shopping Sunday before Christmas.

"If any licensees in the town centre open their doors before 12pm, the police will have the power to close them down and they could remain closed for 24 or 48 hours.

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"There was a suggestion we should shut our doors after the game, but I don't think any pubs will be doing that.

"We will, however, have people on the doors and be very careful about who we allow in."

Mr Collins said town centre pubs would be continuing a successful scheme to close for two hours, between 5pm and 7pm, on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

"It's an excellent idea and it allows people to go home, change and get ready for the evening. It's good for staff, licensees and customers.

"It has worked well for the past two Christmases and we're keen to see it continue. We want to see everybody enjoy the evening, without any trouble."

He added yesterday's meeting, at the Giles Tavern, also heard about the possibility of a future ban on drinking alcohol in town's streets.

"Ipswich has made a lot of progress in the last couple of years – we want to make it a nice, peaceful place where you can walk at night without being threatened."

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