MEASURES to tackle night-time anti-social behaviour in Ormskirk have been approved by councillors.
At the licensing committee on Tuesday night members voted to bring forward the review of West Lancashire council’s licensing policy and the development of initiatives with Edge Hill, University, including improved taxi facilities at the campus.
Councillors also approved the idea of improved communication between the licensing trade and the community and decided a night economy study should be commissioned at a cost of £5,000, to find out what the issues are in Ormskirk and the surrounding area.
A further £5,000 will be spent on initiatives at Edge Hill.
The meeting was well attended by members of the public who live in Ormskirk and have suffered in the past from drink-related anti-social behaviour.
Councillors had a heated debate when they were deciding which measures to pursue.
Cllr George Oliver said: “I brought up this issue 14 months ago and we said we would try and get something in place for the next academic year, now we’re talking about the following academic year and it’s a disgrace.
“The residents have been put through the mill while we’ve been wasting time.
“I recognise that this is a good report but it seems to address future concerns, we need action now. I went out on Boxing Day morning in Ormskirk and it looked like something out of Beirut, there was shattered glass and alarms going off. We blame the students for a lot of trouble, but it’s not just them, its a twofold problem that we need to address.”
Cllr David Sudworth said: “If we’re looking for a silver bullet there isn’t one, bar scrapping the 2003 Licensing Act, which isn’t going to happen. We are only part of the solution and we need to work with the police, university and the licensees to sort out this problem.
“People need to learn to take responsibility for themselves and we can only do so much to combat anti-social behaviour. We’ve put CCTV along St Helens Road which we hope will help and I think the measures proposed will also alleviate the issues we’re having.”
Cllr Adrian Owens said: “The measures regarding Edge Hill have been influenced by what Loughborough University have put in place and I think it would be good to get them up here to talk to us. We need to involve all our partners.”