Tougher measures to tackle alcohol concerns

Fenland District Council is pursuing more robust methods of controlling inconsiderate use of alcohol in Wisbech town centre, in response to ongoing public concerns about street drinking.

At a full Council meeting last week, councillors agreed a recommendation from the Council's Licensing Committee to remove a licensing policy which some councillors viewed as having failed to resolve issues regularly raised with them, in favour of using more substantial measures to tackle street drinking.

A Licensing Compliance Action Plan is now being developed between officers and members that will include tackling existing licence holders who breach their licensing conditions, such as by selling alcohol to intoxicated or underage persons.

The comprehensive action plan also proposes communication campaigns to increase intelligence reporting from the community, the launch of further test purchase operations and an examination of other potential enforcement options.

The Council will also continue to engage with vulnerable individuals liable to street drinking through services such as the Homeless Day HUB in Wisbech, run by homeless charity, the Ferry Project. The multi-agency facility provides specialist support for rough sleepers in the area, with Fenland District Council having recently secured more than £340,000 of funding from the government's Rough Sleeping Initiative to continue services such as this.

Councillor Sam Clark, Fenland District Council's Portfolio Holder for Licensing, said: "The policy was initially introduced in response to calls for action to solve alcohol-related issues.

"Where residents feel that actions are not effective, it is important we are able to adapt our approach in an agile and meaningful way. We need to push forward with other methods to address the concerns, including looking at enforcement to ensure existing licensees are complying with their licences."

Anyone who suspects a licenced establishment of breaching their licence conditions is urged to contact the Council's Licensing team on 01354 654321, by email at: or to report it online at:

Article added: February 26, 2020


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