|Cllr Tim Bick|
Cambridge City Councillors have welcomed government plans to impose levies on late night businesses which could help deal with anti social behaviour in the city centre.
The levies would encourage licensees to take more responsibility for the effects of alcohol that they are selling and meet the costs of policing, clean-up and repair that results from their actions.
Councillors have expressed their concerns about the level of anti social behaviour after residents called for their help in dealing with problems associated with the night-time economy.
They have called for a specific report to be prepared looking at alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour and an inter-agency review is being carried out to see whether resources aimed at curbing the problems could be used to greater effect.
Residents have been urged to play their part by gathering evidence of bad behaviour linked to a particular business so that action can be taken.
Cambridge’s Community Safety Partnership has also made alcohol related violent crime in the city centre on of its three main priorities and this has been welcomed by councillors who believe it will help them to tackle night-time anti-social behaviour.
Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Community Development, Tim Bick, will put a motion before full council on Thursday, February 17 raising the issue.
He said: “Residents are naturally very concerned about late night binge drinking when it affects their lives through noise and an aftermath of mess and damage. Tensions can be expected to arise between people going out to have a good time and people actually living within the same small space of our city centre. These tensions need managing and containing and there is a sense that the balance often goes unacceptably against what residents should expect, even living where they do. Too often there is an insensitivity coming from a level of excessive drinking which responsible licensees should not be permitting.”
“We take these problems extremely seriously”, said Cllr Julie Smith, Chair of the City Council’s Licensing Committee. “But we are operating in a field where powers held locally are quite circumscribed. We must certainly ensure we are doing everything we can, but the onus has to be put on the licensees to take more responsibility for the alcohol they are selling and we are encouraged that the government is planning new legislation to help with this issue.”