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Drinking ban proposal knocked back

PUBLISHED: 12:35 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:37 24 August 2010

by Robyn Rosen A PROPOSAL to ban street drinking in popular shopping centres has been knocked back by councillors. Childs Hill councillor, Monroe Palmer, has called for a borough-wide ban in street drinking, to concentrate on Cricklew

by Robyn Rosen

A PROPOSAL to ban street drinking in popular shopping centres has been knocked back by councillors.

Childs Hill councillor, Monroe Palmer, has called for a borough-wide ban in street drinking, to concentrate on Cricklewood Broadway and Golders Green Road. But in last week's full council meeting, a majority voted against the plan.

At the meeting Cllr Palmer said: "I favour a borough wide ban on street drinking.

"There is a large amount of street drinking in Cricklewood Broadway and surrounding roads. Our neighbouring boroughs have therefore instituted an alcohol free zone -in other words no swigging back beer, wine and spirits on the street.

"Not surprising, the drinkers have even in their drink fuddled state realised that to drink they only need to cross the road into freedom loving outer London suburb of Barnet."

But at Tuesday's meeting, all 37 Conservative councillors voted against the ban.

Cllr Mike Freer, leader of Barnet council, said that despite opposing a borough-wide drinking ban, certain areas may require one and that Cllr Matthew Offord, community safety boss, would meet with residents and councillor to decide the best action.

"We didn't vote against a ban on street drinking we voted against a blanket ban across everyone in every part of the borough," he said.

"Blanket bans rarely work, the police haven't asked for it and we believe specific problems needs targeted intervention.

"To ban 'street drinking' doesn't have that nuance of just on streets but it means Community festivals and Community Street party's would be caught as would family picnics where parents might want a beer or glass of wine.

"Borough wide alcohol free zones will be about as effective as nuclear free zones of the last decade, a publicity stunt that has no effect. Real issues require real solutions that have the support of the police who have to provide the resources."

After the decision was reached, Cllr Palmer added: "When residents see drunks, anti-social behaviour and littered cans and bottles in our local streets complain loudly to Tory councillors Freer and Offord who lead the Tory neglect of residents concerns in Cricklewood, Childs Hill and Golders Green."

Carol Reeman, co-founder of the North West Two residents association, said: "There is a real problem with street drinking especially in the Broadway. It really detracts from the neighbourhood and can be intimidating for people walking passed groups drinking on the street.

"There needs to be some kind o controlled drinking zone to stop the undesirable drinking."

Robyn.rosen@archant.co.uk


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