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Greens concerned as City Centre licensing applications mount up.


Green Councillors Rob Murphy and Jillian Creasy

Green councillors have expressed concern about the range of businesses
submitting applications to sell alcohol in Sheffield city centre. Applications
submitted in the week to 21 October included Staples Office Supplies, Eyre
St, and Savers Health & Beauty, Haymarket. Another Sainsbury’s planned for the former HSBC branch at The University tram stop will target students
going to and from the city centre.

Central ward Green councillor Jillian Creasy comments :

“We appreciate that businesses are struggling in an economic downturn but
alcohol related illness and crime is an increasing problem. The council and
police have enough on their plate working with pubs and clubs, off licences
and numerous city centre supermarket chains selling alcohol. Licensing
Committees have limited power and rely heavily on evidence relating to
public safety and the prevention of public nuisance and crime and disorder.
Because applicants for new licences don’t have a track record they can argue
that there is no evidence to consider in these criteria.

As a councillor I have to be concerned about alcohol sales on Haymarket,
close to the busy markets and tram stops where many children will gather at
the weekend. The Schools Health Education Unit have just told us that 4% of
12 to 13 year olds they surveyed drank 28 or more units of alcohol in the
previous week. Alcohol Concern say this can lead to risky behaviour in terms
of sex and violence, disruption to education and social development and
dependency leading to liver problems at a young age.

With my fellow Green councillor Rob Murphy, I work with many
stakeholder organisations who seek to address under age drinking and
alcoholism in Sheffield city centre. They include SAVE (helping vulnerable homeless people), St Wilfrids Centre, the City Centre Management team (police and ambassadors), the City Centre Community Forum, the universities, Alcohol Advisory Service and the Drug & Alcohol Action Team. Plus city centre GPs and doctors in public health and Accident & Emergency. It will become impossible to achieve our collective goals if it becomes the norm for any business to sell alcohol. ” ENDS

Notes : The Sheffield Council Licensing application list for 17-21 October is attached.

 Press Association report 29 October on under age drinking

Topics: Central, City Wide, Council, Drugs, Food & Drink, Jillian Creasy, Rob Murphy