Sep 19 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
A FORMAL consultation on whether to restrict the opening hours of Ormskirk bars is to be carried out after council cabinet members passed funding plans.
If imposed, the order will mean that bars will have to stop selling alcohol at half past midnight, Monday to Thursday.
The restriction would run from January to June and September to December.
However, it would be lifted for the Christmas and New Year period. The area that the early morning restriction order (EMRO) will cover is defined as one mile from the clock tower in the town centre – meaning almost all bars and clubs are affected.
Opposition to the idea has been fierce from the town’s bars, as well as organisations such as environmental health, Love Ormskirk and the police are also against the plans.
The cabinet decision on Tuesday night means all interested parties will have to make their views known so councillors can decide if an EMRO is appropriate.
The 42-day consultation will cost an estimated £24, 270 to carry out.
This money will go towards solicitors fees, publicity for the order and overtime payments for council employees.
Leader of the council Ian Grant said: “This work is something that has to be done if we are to move forward with the EMRO.
“This money will mean that we can prepare a robust order that could withstand any appeal we were to face.
“If it goes ahead the breweries will be significantly affected and we need to make sure we have adequate justification for imposing the order.
“We need to make sure our ducks are in line, so to speak.
“We are making a sage commitment by allocating these funds.
“It’s a balancing exercise: while we are very aware of the concerns of residents regarding noise and nuisance we also need to think about the economic impacts on the town.”