Posted by: The Prince of Whales | September 1, 2010

Politics, Pubs and The Lovely Rita

Would she look as good on a moped?

The Home Office has taken back control of Licensing for the sale of alcohol (Labour had this with the Department for Media, Culture and Sport) and is about to decide how to change the 2003 Licensing Act. There is currently a consultation exercise going on.

Alcohol is the latest target of the health lobby and the danger is it will impose yet more rules, regulations and costs on Britain’s struggling pubs. The Daily Mail, followed by most of the media, are constantly talking up anti social behaviour, binge drinking and how regular visits to your local will result in an early death for us all.

Sure there are some areas of our towns and cities where Friday night seems out of control. Young kids drunk, fighting, noise and bad behaviour are aspects of our drinking culture we should all condemn and work hard to stamp out.

But more or different regulation is not the answer. We already have a mountain of red tape to wade through just to open the pub doors every day. Any pub or bar with a persistent problem can have its license reviewed, the management removed and be closed down. The powers are there, they just need to be used.

Some Moseley residents believe the village is out of control. This simply untrue. If you take the period of the World Cup for example, the Moseley economy benefitted in a wide variety of ways from the fans watching the games in our pubs. Taxis, take aways, builders, supermarkets, banks, electricans, bar staff and a whole raft of others all gained from the thousands of people who enjoyed the action on the big screens in various pubs.

The number of crimes and incidents where the police were called across the 4 week period could be counted on the fingers of one hand and none of them were serious. The police congratulated the pubs on our good management. Moseley on the verge of a riot is a myth, constantly reinforced by the anti pub lobby.

In fact a rather shocking statistic emerged from my dialogue with the police about levels of crime in Moseley.  On average there are about 20 crimes under investigation at any one time in Moseley. The biggest single source of incident a few months back was not pubs or anti social behaviour. It was … Traffic Wardens! Yes that’s right: 25% of all crime (5 cases) were down to the over zealous actions of Traffic Wardens! They were either the subject or the perpetrators of the largest number of incidents!

So lets embrace our hospitality businesses; let’s do more as a village to play to our strengths and make Moseley a cultural and leisure hotspot the region can be proud of and we as residents can all enjoy.

And lets crack down on over zealous traffic wardens and bring back Lovely Rita!


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