Mar 14 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
RESIDENTS backing calls to curb pub hours have spoken of the “horrendous” noise in the early hours of the morning that is affecting their lives.
Michael Forth, who has lived on St Helens Road for 28 years, believes the only way to solve the problem is to close venues earlier.
The 66-year-old told the Advertiser: “Every night there is a disturbance. Some nights you sleep through – you can’t wake every morning at 2am – but it’s the worst this year it’s ever been. Hundreds of students walk past my house daily and there’s no problem, and there’s nothing wrong with the bars themselves.
“But they can’t control the noise people are making on their way back home from a night out. There’s damage as well, cars vandalised, damage to gateposts – even urinating in gardens. Residents are getting conditioned to waking up every day at 2am, and people are knackered in the morning going to work.
“I do sympathise with students and bars, but all the other measures haven’t solved the problem – you have to do something drastic. People who want to stay out later can go to Southport or Liverpool and go straight home afterwards. My view is the only way to cure the problem is to close these venues earlier on weekdays.”
Mary Wright, of the New Way Tenants and Residents Association, was at the licensing meeting to support the bid for an EMRO.
She said: “This is a market town and we don’t have the policing a city has. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the noise is horrendous. Between 11.15am and 11.30am, you hear them going out and then again coming back at 2am.
“There’s got to be a solution, people have had enough. We have nothing against students in general. But if pubs have to close at midnight, they will go out earlier and be home earlier. “It’s not just the noise, there’s also things like the piles of sick around which we have to clean up.
“We’re willing to listen to suggestions, but at this point we believe this is the only course of action to solve this problem for residents.”
Cllr Adrian Owens – who revealed the number of incidents has now reached 175 in the last five months – said the idea of the EMRO was to re-balance the current situation. He believes it wouldn’t have to mean reduced business for the venues, but instead shift it to earlier in the evening.
He said: “At least an earlier closing time would give residents the opportunity for six or so hours of uninterrupted sleep. The police have stated they cannot patrol the streets every night [at 2am or 2.30am]. I am interested in hearing [the licensed trade’s] suggestions to address this problem. They mention buses – if this is such an obvious idea, where is their suggestion of a free bus from Ormskirk town centre back to residences? The problem originates from foot traffic and a bus might help.
“In the meantime, I continue to regard the EMRO as the most reasonable suggestion to date. Earlier pub closing times certainly didn’t stop me having a good time when I was in my late teens and twenties and it didn’t stop a thriving pub trade in the towns I lived in either.”