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After-midnight boozing could face last orders

Exclusive: Are you ready to party like it's 1999 (again)?

Written by . Published on April 23rd 2013.


After-midnight boozing could face last orders
 

ARE the days - and nights - of round the clock boozing in Liverpool about to end?   

The lifting of closing hours on pubs and clubs was supposed to bring an end to the world-gone crazy times when thousands hit the streets after last orders. 

The logic was if bars and pubs were free to decide when to close, there would be a staggered and more manageable exiting from premises. A visit to Liverpool city centre around 3am at weekends shows it's certainly staggered. 

In many of the UK's city centres, Tony Blair's cafe society vision has been blamed for a huge increase in arrests, drink-related injuries and hospital admissions in the early hours of weekends. Meanwhile, taxi firms have been kept busy ferrying merry partygoers INTO town after midnight.

For the rest of us, going home time has more or less stayed the same. Maybe it's because by 3am most revellers are just tired, emotional and skint. 

However, this week, Liverpool's Licensing and Gambling Committee will be debating two separate measures that could change everything. 

One involves a midnight shutdown, another imposes a levy on premises selling alcohol between midnight and 6am. 

Train To BootleLast train for everyoneIt is a move under the Government's Early Morning Restriction Orders, announced last October and already being examined by Newcastle, Hartlepool and Northampton, among others.

In Liverpool, the late night levy would raise thousands of pounds to help towards the cost of policing the streets at night. The rule states 70pc must go towards this. The council would keep the other 30pc which would have to be spent on “services connected to the management of the night-time economy in addition to services that prevent and tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder”. 

If the committee decide to go down this route, which is voluntary for cities, how much will it cost licensees? The minimum will be £299 a year, rising, depending on rateable value, to a levy of £4,440 a year. 

The lockdown orders, on the other hand, may be seen as more Draconian - except for residents plagued by drink-fuelled disorderly behaviour. 

If councillors embraces the concept of EMRA,  it will give the city power to ban alcohol sales between midnight and 6am. 

The orders are “designed to address recurring problems such as high levels of alcohol-related crime and disorder in specific areas at specific times;  serious public nuisance; and other nuisances of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour which is not directly attributable  to specific premises”.  

Prohibition
The measure could apply to the whole city - a sort of part-time, Chigaco-style prohibition order. But more likely it would apply to specified problem areas, and it might only apply on specific days of the week. 

The only exception to the EMRA midnight rule would be New Year's Eve and the few places exempt would be hotels with their room service and mini bars.

If the committee agrees to either or both measures at Wednesday's meeting there will be a public consultation exercise before a final decision by the city council.

The full proposal can be read here.

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21 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousApril 22nd 2013.

To be honest I'd have last orders at half 10 (10pm on Sundays) like they used to be, plenty of time to catch the last tram home and enjoy a little chat with the nice sober people.

Midnight CowboyApril 22nd 2013.

Sounds terrible. The last trains home are pleasant because the monkeymen are still sucking on bottles in the neon-lit knobhead bars. Chuck 'em out early and everyone else will suffer.

P.C. 49April 22nd 2013.

The trouble is because of bars illegally serving people who are obviously already drunk. Enforce this exiting law and watch things improve!

1 Response: Reply To This...
P.C. 49April 22nd 2013.

Er, "exiting" ought to have read 'existing'.

'Evenin' all!

Liverpool RenaissanceApril 22nd 2013.

Liverpool is a party town, that's why lots of people, especially students, want to come here. Close it down and you'll drive them away. Liverpool is popular for a reason.

If the city centre is so bad then why are people so keen to spend over the odds for cramped, jerry-built cardboard flats (sorry - "designer apartments") in the city centre?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Bold StreetApril 23rd 2013.

Most of the people who own those flats live elsewhere and they rent them out to students. Students have got a 24 party on their own doorsteps and no longer have to club together their two pences for a taxi ride to Smithdown.

AnonymousApril 23rd 2013.

It's just the old attacking the young. Leave us alone were having fun!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Paul WardApril 24th 2013.

In the city centre it's the young attacking the young - and shop windows - and anything else that moves.

AnonymousApril 25th 2013.

since when have shop windows moved?

AnonymousApril 23rd 2013.

At least the maximum levy is only about £
0 a week so that gives bars a chance, but I cant see why we want to attack part of our economy in this way. People go out and have fun and should be able to make their own decisions about bed time and how much they drink. If their are problems then prosecute the trouble makers for their crimes. agresively publicise the punishments around the centre at night (billboards, posters outside bars etc) so that they become a proper deterent. Then the vast majority of people who use the city centre at night can continue to do so.

What we seem to have here is a group of people who don't partake in an activity trying to stop others from doing so. I doubt that they have an argument in favour of it that would be considered reasonable by people who use the city centre at those times. We have a free society and really should live and let live.

AnonymousApril 23rd 2013.

So long as the buses run all night so I can use my buspass, I'd be happy for the boozers to never close. I think all pensilo;ners should sit in the alehouses till they get thrown out - one way of saving on heating bills.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul WardApril 24th 2013.

I don't think Blue serves halves of mild.

Bold StreetApril 24th 2013.

See the Echo have caught up on this today....

Yellow ToneApril 24th 2013.

It's a good idea. I get very thirsty and my liver would have packed up years ago if I had been able to go out drinking until 6am. Oh, hang on, it did, that's where I get my nickname from

AnonymousApril 24th 2013.

Have I met you in the Blob Shop perchance Mr Tone?

AnonymousApril 25th 2013.

Why would anyone bother staying in all those hotels and apartments if they weren't allowed to drink all night?

Andy MeliaMay 15th 2013.

But, but, but...I thought it was all part of Noo Labor's 'Continental Cafe Culture'

1 Response: Reply To This...
Yellow ToneMay 15th 2013.

Exactly. It's all gone horribly wrong.

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