Aug 15 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
BAR owners and residents have clashed over plans to prohibit bars and restaurants in Ormskirk closing after 12.30am.
The decision to formally consult on an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) for Ormskirk town centre was made at the last licensing committee meeting of West Lancashire Borough Council.
The plan has sparked outrage among business owners in the town who believe the decision will affect their livelihoods.
Sue Jones, manager at Disraeli's in Ormskirk, said: “It will make the town’s situation worse.
“At the moment there is a steady flow of customers leaving bars at different times.
“If the EMRO comes into effect, everyone will be in the town at the same time, potentially causing havoc.
“It could result in loss of jobs. Everyone I have spoken to feels the same about the proposal; it won’t benefit the town in a positive way
“Custom will go elsewhere, probably to Liverpool or Southport.
“So when the bars close at the same time there, everyone will be arriving back into Ormskirk when there is less policing.”
Residents who live close to the town centre and have suffered anti-social behaviour for almost nine years have welcomed the proposal however.
Mary White, chairman of New Way Tenants and Residents Association, said: “We’re very happy that the councillors have decided to support this consultation.
“We’re just waiting to see what happens next. We need to see what the people of the town think and act accordingly.
“We’ve had problems like this for almost nine years now and it’s good to see something’s finally done about it .”
Labour Councillor Kevin Wright was keen to stress that the decision to impose an EMRO is a significant one and that it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Cllr Wright said: “No-one would question the very real misery that persistent anti-social behaviour can cause, nor would anyone doubt that for some residents late night drinking exacerbates this misery.
“It is because of this that the introduction of an EMRO should be considered, but considered carefully and within the context of its impact on all residents, businesses and indeed the reputation of the town of Ormskirk itself.
“Labour councillors very much share the worries of local residents and empathise with their plight, but the process has to be adhered rigidly otherwise any decisions made by the committee may well be subject to legal challenge.”