Local Politics And Licensing
When licensing powers were transferred from the courts to local councils, there were fears that politics and point scoring would replace the neutral legal process. A case in point would seem to be the trouble that a local petrol station is having in getting a 24 hour alcohol licence. The Longsight Service Station in Longsight Road, Greenmount, currently sells alcohol from 6am to 11pm, but has asked Bury Council for permission to sell it 24 hours a day. This would normally be a formality but with two councillors objecting, the decision will now be taken by the licensing committee at a town hall meeting on Monday.
Cllr Dorothy Gunther and Cllr James Daly-well known puritans-have played the politics card and formally opposed the application. This despite the police dropping their objection after the owners agreed to the shop being closed between midnight and 0600 with all transactions taking place through the night-pay window. Cllr Daly said: “There could be some people who decide to get into their car late on and buy alcohol before driving home and causing anti-social behaviour and there is also the possibility that it will lead to drink-driving. There is also the chance that it will lead to people gathering outside the premises.”
Now this would be understandable if this was some sort of precedent but the fact is that other petrol stations in the borough do sell alcohol 24hrs a day. So where’s the problem?
Written at Art Picture House
Drink: Conwy Infusion