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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Earlier Barrow club closing time ‘could fuel more street violence’

PLANS to cut the opening hours of Barrow’s clubs and bars to help slash violence will increase trouble on the streets, according to one landlord.

The new closing time has been recommended by the Barrow Alcohol Inquiry and has been supported by police.

But Mike Fallon, landlord of Barrow’s Theatre Bar, in Cavendish Street said turfing alcohol-fuelled revellers out on the streets at 3am at weekends and 2am during the week was a recipe for disaster. He also said it would hit local business hard in the pocket.

They have a month to make objections and are holding a crisis meeting on May 14.

At present, some clubs stay open as late as around 4am but would shut early for a trial period of 12 months under the proposals.

Partner agencies in south Cumbria have issued a letter to licensees in Barrow detailing their planned proposals to create a safer environment.

The letter to licensees states: “In support of the publication of The Barrow Alcohol Inquiry, different agencies and community members have been working to improve safety in Barrow town centre. There is a recognised need to reduce incidents of crime and disorder, specifically relating to the night-time economy.

“We have seen an increase of violence and disorder late at night which would reduce if pubs and clubs were not open so late.

“Violence is increasing at night and one key change that would prevent people becoming victims and being safer, would be for pubs and clubs to shut earlier.”

Mr Fallon, who is also chairman of the local Licensed Victuallers Association said: “We will be raising our objections. We are against the licences being changed.

“Opening hours should remain staggered. Putting everyone out on the streets at the same time is going to cause trouble, not stop it. The way it is at the moment is a much safer environment.

“Nowadays we make our living after midnight on this street. Most of the landlords are Barrow born-and-bred and this is going to affect us financially.

“The youth culture today doesn’t see them coming out until much, much later and we do not think these plans are fair.

“Its like we are going backwards rather than forwards.”

Mr Fallon said a meeting for all Barrow licensees will be held at the Duke of Edinburgh on May 14 at 10.30am.

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