Roberta Blackman-Woods MP
Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham, has called a public meeting to discuss Durham County Council’s ongoing consultation for a specific licensing policy covering Durham City Centre.

As part of the recent review of the local authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy for Durham County, the Council indicated that it will look at evidence to see if there are grounds for a special policy covering the city centre – what is known as a Cumulative Impact Assessment – and this could potentially strengthen licensing rules for new pubs, bars and takeaways in the city centre.

Roberta has raised this issue with the local authority over many years, and has called for a bespoke licensing policy for the city on many occasions. She has held a number of public meetings to discuss licensing within the city, and after her most recent public meeting, called a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament to highlight the impact that the continued granting of licenses was having on the community in Durham.

The Council is now seeking the views of key partners and stakeholders in the city as well as asking residents to share their views on the impact that the number of licensed premises has had on the city centre. Roberta has called a meeting for members of the community to discuss the issues in Durham, and how to respond to this consultation. This meeting that Roberta will take place on Friday 18 October in the Lantern Room, Durham Town Hall between 5.30pm and 7pm. 

The consultation will run until 5pm on Friday 8 November 2019, and people can submit their comments by visiting  http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/21907/Consultation-on-alcohol-licensing-in-Durham-City. They can also share their views with Roberta by emailing mail@roberta.org.uk

Roberta said:

“I am really pleased that Durham County Council have now begun the process of carrying out a Cumulative Impact Assessment to see if a special policy for the city is needed.

I have been raising licensing issues with the Council since 2006, and it is clear that the current licensing regime has not been working for the city centre for some time, with more and more people contacting me to let me know of the effect the huge increase in late licenses in Durham is having on their lives. 

Although it would have been helpful if the local authority had taken steps to deal with these concerns earlier, it is good news that people who live in the city are finally being listened to, and now have the chance to have their voices heard.

I hope to see many people at the meeting on 18 October, and would encourage everyone to respond to this consultation before the deadline of Friday 8 November.”

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