Editor's comment: Bristol's licencing rules need careful handling
By The Bristol Post | Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 05:00
T HESE are curious times in the world of the local licensing trade. On the one hand we frequently hear of public houses closing and people bewailing their loss to the community.
Bristol police talk to a street drinker in the city
Yet on the other hand there appears to be an increasingly voracious appetite for the consumption of alcohol, a demand which results in many more premises seeking licences to sell it.
It's quite a contrast but the latter is often accompanied with all the problems alcohol consumption can bring: loud music late at night; anti-social behaviour; vandalism; even violence.
So it will be interesting to see what happens if new rules restricting the sale of alcohol in two parts of Bristol – Southville and Bedminster – are adopted by the city council.
A scrutiny committee meets at the end of the week to decide if these plans, to make the two districts a Cumulative Impact Area, should proceed.
Local residents' opinion is, apparently, behind the plans which would make it more difficult to get a drinks licence, thereby reducing the number of such outlets.
Such a move is a difficult balancing act, though, and the council must ensure it produces the desired effect for the residents without, effectively, spoiling the vibrancy of the area.