Drinking ban decision on hold

PROPOSALS to ban drinking on the streets in Stowmarket's town centre have been put on hold, it was revealed today.Instead of going ahead with an application for a ban on town centre streets and the Recreation Ground, Stowmarket town councillors have decided to undergo more public consultation.

PROPOSALS to ban drinking on the streets in Stowmarket's town centre have been put on hold, it was revealed today.

Instead of going ahead with an application for a ban on town centre streets and the Recreation Ground, Stowmarket town councillors have decided to undergo more public consultation.

It follows concern that a ban would spoil special events like the annual town carnival.

Councillor Heather Salmon said: “We are not going to ask for a ban in the near future but go out to consultation in a much wider area.


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“There's much concern over a ban on the Recreation Ground in particular because of the impact on town events.

“We are also aware that if we put a ban on the town centre, where the CCTV cameras are, the problem could simply be pushed out of town where there aren't any cameras.”

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A ban was suggested after a rise in anti-social behaviour and crime by under-age drinkers.

Current proposals look at The Recreation Ground and Ipswich Street, the Market Square, areas around St Peter and St Mary's Church and the railway station car park.

The council could apply for a temporarily licence for the town events but councillors are worried the public will view it as one rule for one group and one rule for another.

Frank Whittle, town councillor and former publican, first suggested the idea of a ban 12 months ago.

He said: “Last weekend was a terrible one for drink related problems.

“There were bottles and cans smashed and left everywhere, a group of about 70 youths gathered on the Recreation Ground, a bottle thrown through a shop window and a mess left outside the council offices.”

If councillors agree to a ban, they will have to apply to Mid Suffolk District Council before it can be brought into force.

Would you support an alcohol ban in the town centre and Recreation Ground? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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