Mar 14 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
TOWN centre bar owners believe the introduction of an EMRO would ruin the night-time economy in Ormskirk.
Alan Comer, of Styles Bar, said: "If the EMRO came into place, it would affect us massively – not just Styles but most of the bars in Ormskirk.
“Our traders don't start until 10.30pm now, this is just the lifestyle and the way things are at the moment. The day economy in the town isn't great but the night-time is – people come from all over.
“Introducing an EMRO would ruin this."
Alan said he was licensed until 2am seven days a week, yet chose not to stay open that late on week days.
He said: "We normally close at 1am during the week, depending on if it is quiet, sometimes we do close early at 12.30am.
"To ask us to close at 12am would be devastating and it would not solve the problem.
“What people don't realise is that, yes, these people will go elsewhere, be it Southport or Liverpool, but they will still return in the early hours – probably later and in a worse state than they would do if they were in Ormskirk. Along with the other main student venues in the town, we decided last year to do away with £1 drinks in a bid to try and combat the noise problem and encourage more responsible behaviour.”
Alan also believes that enforcing the order would be bad for the town's economy.
He said: “During the week, it is mainly students that we have in. We rely on them as more student houses means less locals.
“The social aspect of Ormskirk is very important for businesses and to take that away would be damaging to the community.
“Surely people would rather they invest into their own town than someone else’s? It would also have a negative effect on employment as pubs, bars and clubs would have to cut back on staff. The EMRO may solve things in the short-term but not in the long-term. We need an all-round solution and this just isn’t it.”
Lime Tyger owner Kip Piper, who has lived in Ormskirk all his life, says that although the EMRO would not directly affect them, he still believes that it is not the right move for the town.
He said: “It’s better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
“People need to consider what would happen is the EMRO was put into place.
“Club owners from Liverpool, Southport, Wigan and all over will see a mass number of students with nowhere to go and send free coaches to collect them, feed them cheap drinks, then bring them back to Ormskirk at four, five, six o’clock in the morning and there is no law to stop it.
“There will be no police around to keep an eye on them as they make their way home and to put officers out on the streets at that time would come at a cost.
“Coaches taking away trade will have a knock-on effect on taxi drivers as well. I do sympathise with residents and a line has to be drawn – students get a lot of the blame but it is actually a mixed group of people causing problems.
“I said at a meeting with the New Way Tenants group, police and other licensees that we have never tried to work together before and that we should try that first before taking extreme measures – it seemed to be received well.
“All businesses agreed that we would be willing to work with residents and police to make everything amicable.”
A spokesman for Edge Hill said: “Decisions on licensing hours are a matter for the local authority, and the university has never argued for, and would never argue for, their extension.
“We are therefore comfortable with the stance the borough council has chosen to take.”