Resort drinking bans could be lifted
SOME open-air drinking bans in Felixstowe may be removed - because they could hit tourism.Although council chiefs say the booze bans do not prohibit drinking alcohol, only if the people doing so behave badly, community leaders say they give the wrong impression.
SOME open-air drinking bans in Felixstowe may be removed - because they could hit tourism.
Although council chiefs say the booze bans do not prohibit drinking alcohol, only if the people doing so behave badly, community leaders say they give the wrong impression.
Town councillors feel the bans are unnecessarily restricting in some places and confusing to residents and visitors in others, especially the signs which appear to prevent people enjoying picnics with an alcoholic drink on the beach and prom outside huts.
The restrictions were brought in to control anti-social drinking and deal with the impact of alcohol-fuelled behaviour - in designated areas police have the power to require someone whose behaviour is deemed anti-social to stop drinking alcohol and hand over the drink.
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Failure to comply is an offence with a potential fine of up to £500.
Suffolk Coastal has been asked to amend some of the 16 orders in Felixstowe, but will not do so without first asking the public what they think in January.
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In a report to cabinet, councillor Sherrie Green said: “There is no intention that the provisions of the 2001 Act should lead to a comprehensive ban on drinking in the open air.
“The local authority is required to satisfy itself that these new powers are not being used disproportionately or in an arbitrary fashion.
“There should be evidence of an existing problem, with an assessment as to the likelihood that the problem will continue unless these powers are adopted.”
Mrs Green said the town council has asked for several amendments, including allowing open-air drinking again on the beach, promenade and seafront other than the area around the pier because it “does not wish to discourage tourism and believes that the current order could interfere with legitimate tourism activities such as picnics and the orders for these areas could deter visitors.”
Restrictions would also be removed at Old Felixstowe on the seafront but a new order brought in to cover Jacob's Ladder.
Gosford Way open space, Dellwood Avenue and Coronation Sports Grounds will have restrictions removed, as will Adastral Close.
Restrictions will remain though in Hamilton Road, Undercliff Road West and Ordnance roundabout, The Grove, Brackenbury Sports Centre, Allenby Park, Langer Park, Ranelagh and Manor Terrace car parks, cemetery, and High Road West and Walton.
What do you think of the drinks bans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk