Concerns over 2am drinks licence

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Danny Flounders, thank you for your letter in last week’s Herald.

I was not using Daily Mail-type scare tactics, as you put it, I was purely repeating concerns (verbatim) that have been raised to me by a number of residents of Chantry Mews and other residential properties close to the soon-to-reopen Chambers Bar, who are concerned about the impact of granting a two o’clock drinks licence.

As their elected representative, that is what I must do, whether I agree with them or not, however on this occasion I do share many of their concerns. The noise and disruption of a pub turning out goes on well past the 2.20am throwing-out time, in reality it’s well past three o’clock before the streets are cleared.

With regard to your statement of Morpeth’s night-time economy generating millions of pounds, I’d agree it does, mainly in revenue for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and, of course, for a small number of others and yes it does create some employment which is always welcome, some of it is even full-time.

I don’t think anyone wants to see a return to what we had before the recession began to bite, many late venues which needed to be policed by a small army of bouncers, as the police were stretched to the limit and the streets not cleared until four in the morning, not to mention the streets littered, low-level vandalism, general disorder, loss of amenity for those who live in the town centre, not forgetting, of course, the rivers of urine running down every alleyway and piles of vomit.

The face of Morpeth has changed beyond all recognition in the last few years for the better and long may it continue to be the case.

Anyone who invests in new businesses anywhere deserve all the very best of luck and I wish the proprietors of Chambers all the best with their new venture.

That said, I still fail to see how any licensee can control the behaviour (or volume) of their customers once they’ve left their premises?

Only time will tell whether the extensive conditions that have been attached by the licensing officer are workable and will prevent the concerns raised by many residents and others.

I’d like to ask: ‘Do you suffer much in Hepscott from the noise and nuisance generated by late-night licensed premises in Morpeth town centre?’

The reason I ask is that I was brought up in Hepscott and can never remember hearing drunks walking through the village, fighting in the leafy lanes, wing mirrors being kicked off, litter being strewn across anyone’s garden and I certainly don’t recall any rivers of urine or piles of vomit.

But what I do remember, when someone had the idea of converting an old building in the village to a cosy little pub, there was total uproar.

I think the people of Morpeth town centre have the right to be just as nimby as those in Hepscott Village, although I do really fail to see what your real motivation for your letter you sent last week actually was?

Finally, thank you so much for your compliment, ‘Councillor Clark is at the forefront again’. And I will continue to be so as long as there are thorny issues to be tackled for the people who voted me their councillor.

I hope that you are enjoying the much-reduced travelling time from Hepscott since the removal of the dreaded Telford Bridge traffic lights.

DAVID E CLARK,

Morpeth