Do you think Weston is a safe place for a night out?
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 March 2018
Weston-super-Mare's 'safe and diverse' night-time economy has been praised by inspectors, receiving prestigious Purple Flag status.
The town has been awarded the Purple Flag – widely recognised as the gold standard for a safe after-dark destination – for a third-consecutive year after a successful application from North Somerset Council and Weston Business Improvement District (BID).
The town was assessed by the Association of Town and City Management in December, who reported fondly on the regeneration of Dolphin Square and the Italian Gardens, and were complimentary of Weston’s selection of pubs and restaurants.
The MAVIS bus, which reduces strain on emergency services by supporting vulnerable people on Saturday nights, was also praised.
Inspectors also praised the ‘passion, enthusiasm and commitment’ of the council, the BID – which works to boost town-centre trade and co-ordinates Weston’s street wardens – and other organisations involved in promoting Weston’s evening trade.
Cllr Felicity Baker, the authority’s executive member for community safety, said: “The council’s aim is to provide a safe, enjoyable and friendly evening and night-time economy for everyone.
“To achieve this all relevant agencies and local businesses are working together to keep the town safe after dark and broaden the appeal of what’s on offer.
“The assessors were impressed with the partnership working and with the dramatic regeneration the town centre has undergone in the past year, improving the experience for visitors.”
BID manager Steve Townsend said: “The majority of people would be really surprised by how much activity goes on behind the scenes to ensure we have a managed evening and night-time economy which has broad appeal.
“We have achieved so much but there is also much still to achieve, and Purple Flag gives us the framework to make this happen.
“I would urge all licensed premises to become involved with our Pub Watch initiative to find out more.”
Weston’s retention of Purple Flag status comes after new data revealed crime and disorder in the town centre after dark has fallen for the third year in a row.
Inspector David Deakin, of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, added: “It’s great Weston has retained this status, which reflects the hard work put in to keeping our town’s residents, workers and visitors safe.”