Late night alcohol sales at Tesco may fuel anti-social behaviour in Stourbridge, councillors fear (From Stourbridge News)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Late night alcohol sales at Tesco may fuel anti-social behaviour in Stourbridge, councillors fear
4:00pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
A PLAN by Tesco to sell alcohol until midnight at its new Stourbridge superstore has sparked fears that the level of anti-social behaviour in the town centre will soar.
Bosses of the multi-million pound store, which will open on October 31, had originally applied to Dudley Council’s licensing committee for permission to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, much to the dismay of town councillors.
But at the last minute, the store altered its application and is now asking to sell booze from 6am until midnight, Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
But the alteration has failed to please concerned Wollaston and Stourbridge Town cllrs, Barbara Sykes, Ian Marrey and Chris Hale, who believe it is unnecessary for the supermarket to sell alcohol any later than any of the other town centre supermarkets.
After being approached by residents, also concerned that the application may increase anti-social behaviour in the town, the councillors have gathered 225 signatures on a petition to strengthen their case.
Cllr Sykes said: “As local councillors, we try to encourage responsible drinking while people enjoy the nightlife of Stourbridge town. However, inherent to that is the responsible sale of alcohol.”
She said preventing sales of alcohol between midnight and 6am would stop revellers coming out of town bars and buying more booze but added: “It won’t stop them going into Tesco before they go into the bars.”
Cllr Sykes continued: “I don’t want Tesco to become the big bully that gets their own way about everything. I hope they get the same licensing hours as other supermarkets in the town get, it is ample.”
After he was presented with the petition, cllr Pete Lowe, deputy leader of Dudley Council and Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge, said: “I completely agree with the views of the local residents.
“It is only because of the excellent work of the local police and the voluntary street pastors that anti-social behaviour has decreased. We don’t want all the good work undone by this application.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “As a responsible retailer we take the sale of alcohol extremely seriously. All our colleagues undertake training on the issue and we maintain a ‘Challenge 25’ policy on alcohol sales in our stores.
“We have applied for an alcohol licence for the new Stourbridge store, and the council will decide whether this will be granted.”
The application will be determined by the council’s licensing committee next Tuesday (October 8).
Comments are closed on this article.