July 6, 2011
alcohol ban to be introduced in all public areas of Burnham
public areas across the whole of Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge, Berrow
and Brean could soon be designated 'no drinking zones' under controversial
plans being put forward by Sedgemoor District Council.
The alcohol ban for all public places has been proposed by the
council in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour and give police
more power to seize alcohol.
If approved, the scheme will cover the whole of Burnham, Berrow,
Brean and Burnham Without (to the west of the railway line) plus
Highbridge (excluding Walrow and the Isleport Industrial estate).
It will not include holiday parks, campsites or business premises.
The plans have this week attracted mixed reactions from town
councillors during their meeting on Monday (July 4th).
Cllr Phil Harvey said: "I have concerns about the blanket
nature of the proposed designation order. I find it difficult
to believe that there is evidence that public disorder caused
by alcohol can be linked to such a very large area."
But Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton responded: "I completely
disagree. We need a broad brush like this to properly deal with
problems like those on the Rosewood Estate where youths with cases
of drink move through the whole town, causing anti-social behaviour
as they go."
Cllr Ken Smout said that such a ban would only be successful
if it is fully enforceable, adding: "A blanket ban of this
size does seem extreme."
also questioned the costs of introducing the wider scheme, and
asked who would pay for the additional warning signs that would
need to be installed.
A vote on the proposals took place and ten town councillors voted
in favour of the new blanket ban, while just five were against.
Designated Drinking Orders have been in place in parts of Burnham-On-Sea
and Highbridge since 2005 at known trouble spots, including Winchester
Road playing fields, Manor Gardens, Rosewood Park playing fields,
The Esplanade, Jubilee Gardens, Southwell Gardens and Apex Park.
have the power to ask for alcohol to be handed over if people
are believed to be causing trouble. If they refuse, they can be
arrested and face fines of up to £500.
orders - which are being introduced under Sections 12-15 of the
Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 - do not apply to premises
licensed to sell alcohol or locations where temporary event notices
for the sale of alcohol have been granted.
Sedgemoor's public consultation period on the new proposals runs
until this Friday (July 8th). The council's community safety team
leader, Kirsty Blackwell, is leading the plans.