Monday, March 10, 2008

24/7 High Street

a can of lager Costcutter at 175 High Street Barkingside have applied for a variation of licence to a 24-hour licence to sell alcohol and the removal of the security attendant. A Notice is displayed on the premises and it can be found here in the Internet. Click on Search Applications, type “Costcutter” in the “Name of Premises” box and you should get a list of applications to which you can click on “view details”. There are 3. The first one is change of licensee, the second is for the DPA and the third and top one is “variation of licence”. The reference is PREM\VAR\002\02-2008.

Members of the public who live in the vicinity of the premises or those involved in a nearby business are able to
make representations when new applications are made or call for a review where problems in relation to crime and disorder, public nuisance, public safety or protection of children from harm exist.
You can also ask your councillors to make representations on your behalf. The Fullwell Councillors, Harold Moth, Anne Candy and Nick Hayes who represent the ward in which the premises are situated are, I believe, not allowed to sit on the committee that will decide on this application. Representations should be made before 24th March 2008.

13 comments:

  1. All local residents really ought to be advised of this matter, perhaps B21 could circularise as appropriate.

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  2. I would hope the key players are reading this blog.

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  3. Residents must object to all aspects of this application.It will mean that alchohol can be sold 24 hours a day from this shop.Plus with the Rubbish in all tenses that will result from it.

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  4. Unfortunately the basis for objection is extremely narrow under the current licensing legislation. It is so weak that it might as well not exist. Another "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime" success!!

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  5. I thought Redbridge Council was going to make this area around Costcutters an alchohol free zone over a year ago.

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  6. That would only be for consuming alcohol in public. Not for buying it or being in possession of it.
    But a good point, perhaps Harold Moth could comment?

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  7. I e-mailed Nick Hayes to state my objections to this proposal as soon as the news was posted on Barkingside 21. All I've received is an out-of-office auto reply!

    Thanks, Nick. You're doing a good job for Costcutters.

    Twice last week the pavement in Fullwell Avenue was littered with broken glass, from a) a beer glass and b) a spirits bottle. And this is without 24 hours opening!

    Maybe it's the police we should be contacting, not our useless councillors. Don't the police have a say in who gets granted a liquor licence?

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  8. I am abroad at the moment but return on Thursday.

    As a ward councillor for the area I will not be sitting on the subcommittee which will hear the application.

    The way licensing law is framed the only objections that can be taken into account are those which relate the statutory licensing objectives, namely the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of children from harm and the prevention of pubic nuisance. Similarly, if at all possible there should be direct evidence linking the sale of alcohol by the premises in question to something that conflicts with the licensing objectives(general evidence of alcohol related disorder is relevant but it is far more powerful if for example, those giving evidence of say underage drinkers being abusive and intimidating can also say that they saw the those responsible acquire the alcohol from the applicant's premises.

    Anyone who has objected before the deadline and has standing (ie is a statutory consultee such as the police, lives very near to the premises or has a business very close to the premises) will become party to the proceedings and has the right to argue their objections and cross-question the applicants when the application is heard by the committee. I would be more than willing to help or advise objectors as to how to go about this - please contact me on nicholas.hayes@redbridge.gov.uk

    The police have licensing officers who look at these matters but generally speaking if matters get left to the licensing team Met police policy sadly tends to be reactive (and rely on powers to have licenses reviewed and potentially taken away) rather than pro-active (ie by objecting to applications for 24hr licenses before the problems arise). Fortunately safer neighbourhoods policing has provided a way round this passivity as the local ward teams will sometimes get involved and object themselves rather than leaving it to the licensing officers.

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  9. Thanks for the information, Nick. I see I've missed the deadline for making a fresh objection, while you were out of the UK.

    One other thought occurs. What if we report every drunken screaming match, every broken glass, every bottle dumped in our front gardens, every smashed bus shelter/telephone box/shop window to the police, instead of ignoring them as part of life's rich pageant in Barkingside? Would this make the police take notice and do something about it - objecting to a liquor licence, for instance - or would we be arrested for wasting police time on trivial matters?

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  10. The whole process of "licensing" under the current NuLab laws is a total farce. They might as well set up slot machines to issue them for all that the council's licensing committee ever does. As a regular user of Barkingside High Street I have by law no opportunity to make comment to the authorities about something that can affect my personal safety. Democracy? Well it has certainly disappeared since 1997!

    In response to Coxsoft's posting yesterday morning I would say only that it is worth a try. But if you do it then make certain that they give you a crimebook number, because that is the only way you can be certain that what you report has been placed on record.

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  11. Please note that it is also possible to make late (i.e. after the end of statutory consultation period) objections. The committee can have regard to these if it thinks they are relevant and provided that the applicant is not unfairly prejudiced (in effect by being ambushed very shortly before the hearing). Late objections should however be made ASAP to limit so far as possible the applicant's ability to claim that they have been unfairly prejudiced.

    Regarding the reporting of every incident I basically agree with Morris. I doubt it would be sufficient to get the Met Police licensing unit to act but a catalogue of complaints might persuade the local safer neighbourhoods team to object and if so would also provide them with additional information on which to base any objections.

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  12. I have just received the minutes of the License Sub-Comittee that heard the application into Costcutters.

    The application was rejected.

    I have no news yet on whether there will be an appeal but if there is none then this is an
    end to the attempt for a 24 hour license but is it an end to Barkingside Costcutters?
    One of the people I have passed this news on to, (a resident of Fairlop Road), thinks that
    it could well be. This area of the High Street will certainly continue to need careful
    observation for the foreseeable future.

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  13. Hi, Dominic

    Many thanks for the good news.

    This excellent outcome shows what one man, a petition and a couple of bobbies can do. So much for the pessimists. There's hope for local democracy after all.

    But where were all those local traders who want to regenerate Barkingside High Street? Most of them must be paying higher insurance premiums, thanks to having their windows regularly smashed. Why didn't any of them oppose Costcutters' greedy bid to make the situation worse by selling alcohol all night long?

    Last night and the night before I heard drunken yobs and their girlfriends screaming obscenities along Fullwell Avenue at between 1.30am and 2am. What trail of destruction did they leave? And where were our police?

    This blighted area isn't going to improve until the problem of alcohol abuse is tackled by the police and by the council.

    This good outcome is one small step in the right direction. When will Baylis's liquor licence come up for renewal?

    Oh, just in case anyone thinks I'm a prohibition nut, I do enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner.

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