Hours cut an economic risk

Dave Daly and Joe Curran have spoken out over restrictions.
Dave Daly and Joe Curran have spoken out over restrictions.

PLANS to bring the barriers down on pubs and clubs opening late into the night would harm the economy, a senior pub boss has warned.

Last week, The Gazette revealed how Wyre Council was considering the introduction of Early Morning Restriction Orders (EMROs) to stop venues opening later than 3am.

Four Fleetwood venues, The Loft, Rafters, The Wud and Wyre Light, all have late licenses to open beyond that time and would be affected by the changes.

But Joe Curran, head of Wyre Pubwatch, says venue managers should be left to decide for themselves if they want to stay open longer.

He told The Gazette: “We’ve got to look at both sides of the coin because we don’t want anti 
social behaviour, violent crime or neighbours living near venues getting disturbed.

“From a club’s point of view, we don’t want businesses closing down and people losing their jobs and then places looking untidy, which would stop people coming to visit.

Although Mr Curran says he understands what is being planned, he wants the Government to stick by the late licence laws introduced by the previous administration.

He added: “When the policy changed in 2006, it changed for a reason, and that was to extend opening hours on the pretext it would alleviate problems of anti social behaviour.

“Giving them the power to sell alcohol into the early hours and restricting them at a later stage is like saying you can have sweets but we will take them back off you when you get tooth decay.

“If they are choosing to stay open that long it’s because they need to keep people in employment.”

On the other hand Dave Daly, north west chairman of Licensees Unite, has backed the closure of pubs and bars at 3am.

The landlord at The Castle, on Central Drive, Blackpool, said: “I’m all for a 3am shut down and an alcohol cut off area because our members are working long hours as it is.

“People have had enough by 3am anyway and I don’t see any reason why pubs or clubs should open past then.

“Pubs can take advantage of the time they are allowed to open and no pub should really be open past 1am.”