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Pubs could be banned from serving alcohol after 2am
7:20am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
PUBS will face having to shut earlier in a planned clampdown on booze culture.
The 51 bars and pubs in the town centre are set to only be able to serve alcohol until 2am, after an order was put before Warrington Borough Council.
The earlier closing time was requested by Cheshire Police in a bid to tackle drink-fuelled ‘violence and disorder’.
In a report to the council, Insp Richard Spedding, of Cheshire Police, said earlier closing times ‘could be the catalyst to a new town centre’.
He said: “The overall aim of the request is to improve the vibrancy of the town centre, making it a place people wish to visit and enjoy.”
Officers and council officials are concerned over a lack of diversity in the town centre, which maintains a reputation for binge drinking.
Boozers on and around Bridge Street can stay open until 6am, play loud music, and are largely filled with drinkers aged 18 to 30, according to officers.
Drink offers on shots and large measures of spirits are still common place.
Police say they are ‘fire fighting’ rather than ‘problem solving’.
The council believes the order will ensure new premises planned for Time Square are more family orientated, focused on food rather than drinking.
It does not want a raft of pubs like Wetherspoons to open, where food is served, but secondary to cheap alcohol.
Clr Mike Hannon, deputy leader of Warrington Borough Council, said: “The 2am licence is part of our wider plans for the town.
“It is very hard with licensing to regulate what happens when the licence is in place.
“So we are hoping this will help bring about wider use for the town centre by a greater mix of people.
Council leader Clr Terry O’Neill added: “Now it is important we put these restrictions in place before establishments are built and licences granted.
“So any licences at the new Time Square development will be for restaurants where food is the prime offering, and a drink would be ordered alongside it.
“Not the other way round. We won’t be granting licences just for pubs.”
During a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, the council’s licencing committee considered the Early Hours Restriction Order.
A decision was deferred until the next meeting on Tuesday, October 15.
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