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Lib Dems Step Up Call for Play Areas Alcohol Ban

June 26, 2008 6:01 PM

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have stepped up their calls for alcohol to be banned from children's play areas. At a meeting tonight, Bedford Borough Council's Licensing Committee will discuss the Lib Dems' proposal for all play areas across the borough to be declared alcohol free zones. Lib Dems on the committee will be seeking a commitment from the council and the police that they will work together to remove alcohol completely from these most unsuitable sites.

Commenting on the issue, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Putnoe Ward Cllr Myrtle Stewardson said: "The time for talking about this problem is over. We need to see action to ban the drinking of alcohol in play areas in order to make them safer places for children to play. Play areas are increasingly being used at night time as a place where people gather and drink alcohol. Parents and their young children suffer the consequences of this as debris and vandalism can turn play areas into very dangerous places. The borough council has a duty to do what it can to tackle this problem, which can also make life a misery for local residents near play areas thanks to excessive noise and general anti-social behaviour.'

"There is no good reason for anyone to ever be drinking alcohol in a children's play area. It is time to reclaim play areas for the young children who simply need a safe place to play."

At a meeting of the (Licensing Act 2003) Licensing Committee tonight Cllr Stewardson will ask the committee for support for the proposal for all play areas across Bedford Borough are made alcohol free zones. This would allow the police to require individuals to stop drinking alcohol immediately and to confiscate alcoholic drinks from drinkers in play areas. Where individuals do not comply with such requests they could be arrested and, upon conviction, fined up to a maximum of £500.