Proposal will be discussed in November
A ban on street drinking could soon be in place across the borough of Merton.
Controlled Drinking Zones (CDZs) are already in place in Wimbledon and Mitcham town centres, but plans for a borough-wide ban will be considered by councillors at the next full council meeting on November 21.
The proposals follow a meeting between council leader Stephen Alambritis and Merton police borough commander, Darren Williams, as well as a report from Safer Merton on the implementation of an effective CDZ.
The next day Councillor Alambritis was answering questions at Mitcham Community Forum when he confirmed his support for the measure to reduce the number of street drinkers in the borough. A number of issues were discussed on the night, but it was plans to look into the scourge of street drinking that he said drew the interest of the audience.
He said: "I am pleased that the option for a borough-wide ban on street drinking was on the agenda of last week's meeting of our Licensing Committee (October 25). There is still a long way to go and we will need to consult with residents. A proposal for a borough-wide ban will also need council support and that could possibly be forthcoming at its next meeting (21 November)."
Chair of Merton Council's licensing committee Councillor David Simpson said: "Following a report from Safer Merton looking at how a CDZ could most effectively be implemented, the committee unanimously agreed that the best way to forward would be to consult with residents about having a borough-wide CDZ. Such a scheme, I believe, would greatly help the police with tackling anti social behaviour which is a direct consequence of street drinking.
"As ward Councillor for Hillside, which covers much of Wimbledon town centre, I get many complaints about street drinking and I believe many residents will see the sense in this proposal. Merton is currently one of the safest boroughs in London and I want to see it stay that way."
The licensing committee report can be seen at: www.merton.gov.uk/democratic_services/w-agendas/w-reports/_9000-9999/9719.pdf.
The London boroughs of Islington, Newham, Brent and Camden have drinking bans across their area.
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October 29, 2012