Bargain Booze Banned
New curbs on off-licences after local schools complain
Five off-licences will no longer be able to sell strong, cheap alcohol following complaints about street drinkers from two local primary schools.
Addison Primary School and Lena Gardens Primary School applied to the Council to have the licences of five shops on Shepherd’s Bush Road reviewed. Following a Council licensing sub-committee meeting, Best Wines, Langani Superstore, Seven Up, Fairway Foods and London News, will have to stop selling beer, lager or cider with an alcohol content of 5.5 per cent or more. One particular brand of cider called White Ace with an alcohol content of 7.5 per cent was selling for as little
as 60 pence a can.
In a joint statement, Calum Fairley, head teacher of Lena Gardens Primary School, and Clare Pugh, deputy head teacher of Addison Primary School, said they had become concerned about the safety of the schools’ pupils and their parents. They said: “We at the schools have become concerned for our children and their parents, as they make their way into school in the mornings and home in the evenings, from the presence of street drinkers outside the Shepherd’s Bush Road, attracted to the area by the cheap alcohol provided by off-licences, of which there are many.”
Their concerns were backed by local police teams and more than 30 residents who sent letters of support for the schools to the Council.
Inspector Chris Wood, of Fulham Police, said: “These high strength alcoholic drinks are often bought and consumed by individuals who have problems with alcohol abuse,” he said. “The consumption by these people creates anxiety amongst community members, thus affecting the quality of life for local residents and generating an increased demand on police resources.”
James Johnstone, who lives in nearby Melrose Gardens, sent photos to the licensing
committee showing men urinating outside his house. He said arguments between groups of drunks were a daily occurrence on his street and that his six-year-old daughter had been distressed on several occasions.
Mr Johnstone said: “We are trying to stop Hammersmith & Fulham being known as the borough that has the highest alcohol-related deaths in London and this is a great success on a local level.
“I am pleased at the result and as residents, we are delighted. My six-year-old daughter has seen men exposing themselves by urinating openly in the street but I now hope that our children will not be subjected to abusive behaviour from drunks in the area.”
Josephine Saunders, of Batoum Gardens, also supported Lena Gardens and Addison Primary Schools. She said: “I have seen people under the influence buying what appears to be cheap drink in the shops on Shepherd’s Bush Road. It is very unpleasant to then witness them drinking it on the street corners and in Loris Gardens which they also use as a public lavatory.”
Commenting on the situation, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Hammersmith, Shaun Bailey said: “The fight against anti-social street drinking is very important because it is one of the things that attracts further low level and more serious crime. It also can lead to areas becoming no go areas.”
The veto comes into effect in mid-February and includes a ban on the shops selling alcohol before 11am.
January 29, 2009