Early morning drinking in Newport centre having a ‘negative impact
NEWPORT councillors yesterday called for police and nightspot owners to meet over proposals for venues to shut earlier.
The Argus reported on Saturday that under new legislation Newport council could charge nightclubs for being open into the early hours or even bar the sale of alcohol after a certain time.
A report to a meeting of the city’s licensing committee yesterday said the council wants to work with premises that open after 4.30am to get them to voluntarily shut earlier for a six-month trial.
Members of the licensing committee yesterday said they wanted to see police evidence of problems caused by early morning drinking.
The report says Newport licensing and Gwent Police believe licensed premises open after 4.30am are having a negative impact on the city.
Committee chairman Allan Morris asked why the police hadn’t attended the meeting, although a council officer said the force hadn’t been invited.
The committee was told that nine premises affected by the voluntary proposal for earlier closing agreed that it would be a good thing.
Cllr Chris Evans, for Rogerstone, said: “The nighttime economy is dying or dead.”
Sally Mlewa, who is also a councillor for Rogerstone, said: “The only thing that concerns me is that we have no firm evidence.”
Cllr Morris said: “If we get someone flagging up a concern we can’t ignore it.”
He later said it would be an advantage to nightclub owners to voluntarily shut earlier, saying proprietors are “frightened to close” in case customers go elsewhere.
The committee agreed to hold a future meeting with the police and representatives of the nine premises.
The premises concerned are: The Greyhound, Mojo, Meze, JMA, Six Foot Under, Warehouse 54, Karma Lounge, Birdcage, the Loft & Atlantica.
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