Plans for Calderdale booze ban are 'over the top'

Calderdale’s Liberal Democrats are objecting to council plans to introduce a borough-wide ban on drinking alcohol in public places, claiming it is an “‘over the top” response.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 8:28 am

Calderdale Council is proposing to vary the conditions of some Public Space Protection Orders, but the council’s Liberal Democrat group believe a proposal to make the alcohol orders applicable to public spaces across the whole borough to reduce any alcohol related anti-social behaviour or disorder.

Currently the order is in respect of consumption of alcohol in a public place or other designated area, allowing Police and community safety wardens to require individuals to stop drinking and surrender their alcohol.

Liberal Democrat group leader Coun James Baker (Warley) said it was questionable whether a “blanket ban” on alcohol on these situations was the best response with other remedies already available.

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Group Leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats, Coun James Baker

“We don’t deny that there are some problems in some places at some times, but to introduce a ban like this seems disproportionate to the problem.

“There are already laws in place that, if enforced, could tackle the worst problems without stopping a family having a glass of wine while out on a picnic.

“Also, we have consistently pressed the council to use Public Space Protection Orders to tackle other anti-social issues – such as the inconsiderate letting off of fireworks and dangerous driving.

“These matters, though, will not be covered by the proposed scheme, even though they are of real concern to many local residents.

“We really want to see the council working closely with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour but we question whether a blanket ban on drinking alcohol while ignoring other serious problems is the right way forward,” he said.

Full details of the orders and the proposed changes can be found on the council’s website which also has information about how to give feedback – the deadline for responses is Tuesday, June 7.

The orders can prohibit certain behaviour or activity as well as require action to be taken in a defined area.

There are currently seven orders in Calderdale including the Moorland Fire PSPO implemented in June 2019 to protect the borough’s moorland and upland areas by preventing the risk of fire.

Five of the remaining PSPOs introduced restrictions on a person in charge of a dog or dogs, for example not entering specific areas such as children’s playgrounds and failing to clean up after their dog.

The orders are due to expire in mid-June when the council has the option to vary the conditions included.

In addition to existing moorland regulations, it is proposed the recreational use of off-road vehicles would be prohibited on Calderdale moorland area.