“I put it to you that another retailer selling alcohol in an area of Boston which already sees street drinking and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour can only make the situation worse. It will increase the risk of crime.
So I believe that the application above would have a negative effect on several of the licensing objectives, in particular the prevention of crime and disorder, and the prevention of public nuisance. Alcohol abuse has played a major part in many of the worrying handful of violent crimes we have seen in Boston over the last few months.”
He also highlights the petition launched against the application by local residents on change.org, and the importance of considering the impact of multiple alcohol retailers in the same area, saying:
“As the petition notes, there are eight existing shops selling alcohol within half a mile of the proposed new site. I would like your committee to be able to say enough is enough, and I will lobby ministers to change current government guidance to make that the case. I am glad that the committee is committed to review its own Cumulative Impact Policy, and I would urge you to do so urgently.
Without considering the cumulative effect of off licences and other alcohol retailers in a small geographical area, it is impossible to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and crime.
I would be grateful if my concerns, and that of the numerous residents who have either signed the petition or made independent representations, could be taken into consideration when this application is put before the committee in January.”
In addition, Matt commented, “Licensing laws currently make it very hard for councils to turn down applications such as this. I hope the Committee will look positively on the petition and on my own letter, and in the future I hope we can change these regulations so that Boston’s councillors are better able to serve the town’s best interests.”