THURROCK TORIES were delighted to see recommendations not to go ahead with consultation with no drink zones in Ockendon and Little Thurrock overturned at Tuesdays Licensing Committee.
Ockendon Councillor Amanda Arnold said “Last September I proposed that officers look at introducing a Designated Public Place Order. It was frustrating to see that the recommendation was to reject this due to lack of reports of anti social behaviour involving alcohol, when there are broken bottles and empty beer cans everywhere and 85 reports of anti social behaviour in a year. Very often there are no arrests in these cases, so how can officers say that alcohol wasn’t a contributing factor? I was equally surprised to hear that Belhus Councillors on the committee did not vote on the proposals and am sure their residents will look forward to hearing why.”
Fellow Tory Rob Gledhill added “I understand that officers can only put forward the statistics they have, but the reality is we regularly receive calls complaining of anti social behaviour and drinking in Little Thurrock’s Parks. Most don’t report it as they feel there is little that can be done. The recent reported success of the dispersal order should have alerted both the police and the council that the problems are real and action is needed.”
The committee discussed at length the need for the consultation as residents experiences not only the anti social behaviour as it happens but the mess it leaves behind in the form of rubbish and damage to the open spaces and play equipment.
Little Thurrock Councillor Joy Redsell said “ I asked to speak at the hearing and was disappointed I didn’t receive a reply. So I was delighted to hear that fellow Conservatives have included Blackshots playing field in the consultation. I would urge every resident who has been affected by the problems caused by street drinking in Little Thurrock’s parks and open spaces, and on the Flowers Estate to take part in the consultation so that their voices will be heard. Without their responses these zones won’t happen, it’s in the residents hands now.”