Council’s booze approvals criticised by residents

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Wakefield Council have been criticised for granting two all-day alcohol licences as the government announced it was giving extra help to tackle drinking issues in the district.

Wakefield has been chosen as one of 33 towns and cities to become part of the Home Office’s local alcohol action area programme, which includes guidance for local authorities.

Barbara Jodrell.

Barbara Jodrell.

But some people living in Normanton have been left angry that their objections to two shops being granted all-day licences in recent months fell on deaf ears.

Barbara Jodrell, former chairman of NEST (Normanton Environmental Societies Together) said: “The council told us they could not prove granting the licences would cause crime and disorder, then I read about the council getting extra help from the government.

“We have had grave concerns for a while, and all the things we objected to are now being addressed by the government. Surely the council must have known this was coming?

“It’s the cheap booze that I’m against.

“There are people gathering in the park on a morning just to drink.

“I think the council are giving these licences out too easily.

Another Normanton resident, Jim Morris, also objected saying: “There was no justifiable necessity for the additional sale of alcohol. Already there are more than enough such premises.”

But Wakefield Council continues to back its decision over the Normanton shop licences.

Bernadette Livesey, the council’s city solicitor, said: “All applications for the sale of alcohol at new premises are considered in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.

“Any objections to an application are considered.

“In the case of Normanton the licencing sub-committee considered all the evidence, including the views of objectors and did not feel there were sufficient grounds to reject these applications.”