Booze ban plan gets a mixed reception

PLANS to make parts of Cheddar alcohol free to tackle nuisance yobs have sparked mixed views from village businesses. The zones planned for streets in the gorge, Cliff Street, the area around Sharpham Playing Fields and Bath Street would give police the p

PLANS to make parts of Cheddar alcohol free to tackle nuisance yobs have sparked mixed views from village businesses.The zones planned for streets in the gorge, Cliff Street, the area around Sharpham Playing Fields and Bath Street would give police the power to seize alcohol from people, regardless of their age.The proposals have been put together to combat under-age drinking and the adults who supply the youngsters with booze. But the proposals have not yet been submitted to the licensing authority, Sedgemoor District Council, and a consultation will be held to give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions. Once the plans are received, the zone could be up and running within six months.Bruna Cooper, who has run Fortes Ice Cream Parlour in The Cliffs for more than 35 years, says the new ban could really help.She said: "I think it is a fantastic idea and hopefully it will reduce the amount of vandalism in this area. Our windows have been smashed twice this year. Youths hang around outside our shop because we have a canopy they like to sit under. I am in favour of any measure put in to help combat vandalism."Sergeant Mike Tripp, of Cheddar police station, said: "One of the biggest issues in the village is under-age drinking and the vandalism associated with it."A particular group we are dealing with at the moment get adults to supply them with alcohol. "The new zones mean that we have the power to seize alcohol from anyone caught drinking in the street. If this happens to the same person a few times, they will soon realise they are wasting their money."In the cases where we find under-age drinkers, we take them back to their parents and explain what has happened. Often they have no idea what their child has been up to."But Deane & Son manager Nigel Deane has reservations about the scheme. He said: "I do not think it will make any difference. "During our opening hours we have very few problems but at night they hang about outside all the time. "We are very close to one of the village pubs, so even if they stop drinking in the street, they will still be spilling out of there at closing time."* Do you think the no alcohol zone will work? Email Newsdesk@thewestonmercury.co.uk or visit our website at www.thewestonmercury.co.uk


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