Monday, January 30, 2023

Tories believe Labour misled them over booze zones

CONSERVATIVE Councillors in Ockendon and Little Thurrock are calling for an investigation after discovering that the report to committees of both licensing and full council was factually incorrect. The six councillors, (Rob Gledhill, Tom Kelly, Joy Redsell, Ben Maney, Lynn Carr and Amanda Arnold) who have spent 18 months fighting for the booze ban were elated after Labour were embarrassingly forced into a U turn at Full Council on Wednesday night.

Cllr Gledhill said “It is appalling that the Labour administration have allowed a report to go into the public domain which is riddled with inaccuracies. We had been told that only police officers could enforce Designated Public Place Orders and that they could not support enforcing the booze ban due to limited resources, but it took five minutes on the internet to uncover the fact that both PCSO’s and accredited council officers could confiscate alcohol.

Add to that a poor consultation process and it is clear that rather than challenging officers, Labour are being led by the nose.”

Cllr Arnold, who put the original motion back in 2010 added “I am thrilled that we have finally got this through. Changing family behaviour and going for evictions and injunctions takes months, sometimes years.

“The PCSO’s who asked us to take this forward knew who they wanted to target and knew who they wanted to protect. This ban targets those over 18’s that thought they were untouchable. Those who have their lives ruined by anti-social behaviour will tell you that they would not want anyone else to have to go through what they have – stress, anger, frustration, children who won’t eat, sleep or go outside.

“We need to respect that and understand that this is not a miracle cure, but an opportunity to deal with unacceptable behaviour in the street that undermines strong communities, damages families and isolates our most vulnerable residents”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Surely if Cllr Gledhill, Arnold, Kelly, Redsell, Carr and Maney had been demanding Designated Public Place Orders for 18 months they would have fully researched the legislation in advance?

    I understand the Conservatives, at a huge taxpayers expense, employ a Political Assistant whose job it is to research such things for councillors, if the report was flawed one wonders what he does all day to earn his money?

    If it only took 5 minutes internet to find flaws in the report why didn’y they spend 5 minutes before the report went to the Licensing Committee on 04/01/12 to check its accuracy?

    As for the actual legislation this is what the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 says:-

    Chapter 2 Provisions for combatting alcohol-related disorder

    Alcohol consumption in designated public places

    12 Alcohol consumption in designated public places

    (1)Subsection (2) applies if a constable reasonably believes that a person is, or has been, consuming [alcohol] in a designated public place or intends to consume [alcohol] in such a place. .
    (2)The constable may require the person concerned— .
    (a)not to consume in that place anything which is, or which the constable reasonably believes to be, [alcohol]; .
    (b)to surrender anything in his possession which is, or which the constable reasonably believes to be, [alcohol] or a container for alcohol]… . .
    (3)A constable may dispose of anything surrendered to him under subsection (2) in such manner as he considers appropriate. .
    (4)A person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement imposed on him under subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale. .
    (5)A constable who imposes a requirement on a person under subsection (2) shall inform the person concerned that failing without reasonable excuse to comply with the requirement is an offence.

    Chapter 2 Section 29 says:

    Confiscation of alcohol containers from young persons

    “In section 1(1) of the Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act 1997 (c. 33) (things to be surrendered to a constable) after “intoxicating liquor”, where it appears for the third time, there shall be inserted “ or a container for such liquor (other than a sealed container) ”.

    Nothing about PCSOs or Council Enforcement Officers?

    Unless I have missed something in the legislation it says a Constable, not a PCSO or a Council Enforcement Officer.

    As the Conservatives have issued a press release attacking Labour on the report written by officers perhaps they can be kind enough to provide the local media with the extract from the Crimanl Justice Act that state PCSOs and Council Enforcement Officers can police the Designated Public Place Orders – this will hopefully clear up any confusion and add credibility to their press release?

  2. Mr Peterson, you may think your correct, but you have to remember in the Thurrock Tory councillors eyes they are always right, know it all, will move the goal posts to suit them and kid the electorate at any given chance.

  3. Party Bickering over the Alcohol issues in the Borough / County needs to be ironed out. The report from most agencies does not make easy reading. The PCT’s covering Essex have seen a doubling of admissions for young people in the last few years.
    One report to read http://www.essexdrugaction.org/gallery/AlcoholNeedsAssessment_January_2012.pdf
    We have made changes to our smoking habits and heart attacks are down as we look at our eating habits, now we must look at our views on Alcohol. The majority of people enjoy a drink but we are turning a blind eye to the dangers. Time to talk.

  4. The alcohol issue is an interesting one, and there are arguments both ways. Many drink issues are linked to lack of recreation and jobs. So why don’t these conservative politicians focus on that. Cant these Thurrock tories get around the table with labour and talk about the real issues, instead of wasting time trying to score points, lead by Cllr Gledhill career politician with no other prospects apart from grabbing headlines. it is childish. i’d put them all over my knee and spank the lot of them.

  5. Why dont Thurrock council actually listen to the local Police, they have said that these zones do not work but still they press ahead with them, there are not enough police on the beat to maintain these areas, indeed I have personally witnessed several breaches of the zones where the police have just drove by.

    It is not just the Tories that dont listen even the Labour councillors seem to ignore the advice and the fact these are unmanageable.

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