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Give your views on Midsomer Norton street drinking ban

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

MAP: The planned No Street Drinking Zone

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People are invited to have their say on plans to ban drinking in Midsomer Norton town centre.

Bath and North East Somerset Council gave the green light for a consultation to take place asking residents what they think about the introduction of a No Street Drinking Zone.

Problems caused by unruly drinkers in the town centre on weekend nights were described as worse than those experienced in neighbouring cities as people make their way between pubs and clubs with drinks in hand.

At last week's full council meeting councillors voted in favour of creating what is formally known as a Designated Public Place Order in the hope of stopping drink-related antisocial behaviour by giving police and accredited person's greater powers to confiscate alcohol.

The proposal was first put forward by the town's new Community Alcohol Partnership and has received the support of police and Midsomer Norton Town Council.

Councillor Michael Evans (Con, Midsomer Norton North) seconded the proposal at the meeting.

Mr Evans said councillors have a "social responsibility" to help solve problems that have been identified in communities.

He said: "I'm really pleased that the council voted to support the idea of creating a No Street Drinking Zone in the centre of Midsomer Norton.

"It's something which residents have said they want to see put in place, and has the backing of businesses and the police. It is another weapon in the armoury to help address drink-related antisocial behaviour."

Mr Evans explained that the creation of a Designated Public Place Order gives the police the power to confiscate alcohol from people on the street if they are causing a nuisance.

It is a discretional law which does not mean people are banned entirely from drinking outside if they are behaving responsibly – such as outside pubs, or enjoying a family picnic.

Beat manager PC Tony Rogerson said he hoped the ban would make the town safer and make people feel safer when enjoying a night out.

People can give their views at two public consultation meetings taking place at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on Tuesday, December 4, from 2pm until 4pm and on Thursday, December 6, from 7pm until 9pm.

Views can also be sent to B&NES community safety partnership by email at com munity_safety@bathnes.gov. uk before Thursday, December 13.

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