A LEADING politician believes having a robust liquor licensing can minimise night time trouble in Stalybridge, Mossley and other Tameside towns.
But Cllr David Sweeton, chair of Tameside Council’s Speakers Panel (Liquor Licensing), admitted it was impossible to completely eliminate unruly behaviour.
The representative for Dukinfield/Stalybridge ward was speaking after the recent tragedy in Uppermill when Daniel Hogan was murdered.
Since Cllr Sweeton took up the liquor licensing post in May, he has been pressing for the introduction of a ‘cumulative impact policy’.
That will includes pubs, clubs, restaurants, betting shops and takeaways and look at their impact on the community.
Cllr Sweeton explained how the policy would work, saying: “We would have bodies like planning and public health involved.
“As an example, there may be too many kebab shops in the area, they are too close to others or to a school so the market is saturated. Making sure there is not over supply in an area is important.
“There may also been a high volume of instances of domestic violence which we might also consider.”
Cllr Sweeton added he has monthly meetings with licensing officials and there are joint reviews with police to check intelligence.
He continued: “We want to make sure those licensed premises sell alcohol responsibly and that may involve having a responsible bouncer on the door.
“It is all about management and the calibre of training.
“Wetherspoons is the biggest and most profitable pub chain but, in my time with liquor licensing, we have never had any trouble with them.”
Cllr Sweeton described Uppermill as a “great place” and was saddened to learn of the recent death.
He said: “It is always incredibly tragic when something like that happens.
“In Stalybridge, we have people coming to the town from Manchester, Droylsden, Ashton and Oldham for its nightlife.
“If we can get everybody up to the benchmark regarding training and deal with the other things I have mentioned, hopefully it will help.
“There will always be incidents but it is a case of trying to keep them to a minimum.
“Licensing know the trigger points and how to manage them and it is a case of the management (at licensed premises) playing ball.”
Stalybridge has had a lively nightlife and in recent times acquired the nickname Staly Vegas, ironically after the controversial conversion of premises in the shopping area into nightclubs and bars, the proliferation of takeaways and the refurbishment of some of the more traditional pubs.
Cllr Sweeton said: “We encouraged people to come to the town to boost the night-time economy and we had a generation of great landlords of the ilk of Mike Wood from the now gone Mill Pond.
“The next generation were okay, but not as good and then we started to get those who chased the pound and you could get legless for thruppence.”
• Daniel Forster, from Springhead, and Michael Neild, from Shaw, both 24, have been remanded in custody until April 18 accused of murdering Daniel Hogan in Uppermill on Friday, December 21. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge.