6 Oct 2015


Re: Application for sale by retail of alcohol, 65-67 Oxton Road, Birkenhead.

An application was recently made for an alcohol license on Oxton Road. Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to the licensing panel which will meet later this month to consider this application:

I wish to object to this application which I feel will have a detrimental impact on the people I represent. I believe it impinges some of the key objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 namely:

To prevent crime and disorder
To protect public safety
To prevent public nuisance

My specific objections are as follows:

1. The Oxton Road area has a well established problem with street drinking. I have witnessed this at first hand many times. Along with Hamilton Square, I receive more complaints about street drinking around Oxton Road than in any other part of my ward. Clearly another licensed premises will exacerbate this problem. I have no doubt that the majority of local residents would oppose this application as it will contribute to the level of street drinking in the area. There are established services in the immediate area such as the YMCA dealing with the fall out from alcohol consumption and we should support them by denying yet more access to cheap alcohol.

2. Alcohol is an undoubted contributing factor to the level of criminal activity around Oxton Road and the wider Birkenhead area. Police figures confirm the high reported instances of crime and the contribution alcohol makes to the overall level of crime in the area. Significant policing resources are required to deal with the adverse impacts that alcohol is having via crime and anti-social behaviour. In the circumstances, the last thing the area needs is yet another off-license.

3. Alcohol consumption is a clear source of public nuisance in this area not just as a result of street drinking and anti-social behaviour. The broader environment suffers hugely and I get frequent complaints about the level of litter in the area much of which consists of discarded alcohol containers. For example I received the following message on Sep 21st:

Dear Pat,
Borough road from Charing Cross on the Oxton road side it's an absolute disgrace with thousands of beer cans and bottles right up to Wirral Spares.The bushes and trees are an absolute eye sore.Why is this allowed to happen time after time ?
J B, Ashford Road

I have included some photos taken on Tetbury Street (off Oxton Road) on September 22nd which clearly shows the public nuisance caused by discarded alcohol containers. Not only is this a public nuisance but it clearly places further strain on council services.

4. There are already numerous retailers selling alcohol in the immediate area. It is likely that there will also be a Lidl supermarket on Oxton Road selling alcohol. Moreover, the new supermarket (currently seeking planning permission) has the potential to significantly change the character of the Oxton Road area. Increased footfall may create additional opportunities for commercial premises that could enhance the street scene and broaden the retail offer. This application, if successful, would reinforce the area's existing reputation and could detract from future investment.

In summary, this application clearly runs counter to the public interest. It will worsen established problems relating to crime, anti-social behaviour and public nuisance. I urge you to reject it.

Cllr Pat Cleary
Green Party councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere

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