A Public Space Protection Order is coming to a large part of the area around Lavender Hill. The order is aimed at dealing with street drinking in the area by the cut-through from Queenstown Road to Ashley Crescent covers all the Shaftesbury Park Estate, many of the roads to the south of Lavender Hill and to the north on both sides of Queenstown Road.
I did a lot of work representing local residents in getting this even though, I have to confess, I am not a supporter of such moves. It is one of those peculiarities of representative democracy that occasionally you have to represent views you don’t share. However, having implemented several council policies with which I disagreed (although several of which have subsequently been reversed—one of the reasons I rate Ravi Govindia as a leader is his willingness to reconsider policy when he gets things wrong) I really can’t complain about this.
I do have several issues with such zones. One is that I do find it rather hard to believe that extra powers are needed, is there really a need to regulate defecation in public? Another is that if the resources aren’t there to deal with it at present, from where will they come now? My biggest issue is the concern that it doesn’t really solve problems, it changes them or shifts them.
A zone doesn’t cure alcoholism so the drinkers go elsewhere. When a similar zone was implemented in Roehampton one of my former colleagues commented that they didn’t care if the drinkers “went off and drank themselves to death, as long as they did it in their own home.” Perhaps I’m too much of a bleeding heart.
However, my views are academic and I have the luxury of not living near the affected area (although I do live in the zone). While I think there were faults with the consultation (I know very few people who received it, including the people most affected, I certainly did not get one) it seems to have resulted in a positive response: I was told that there had been about 30 responses in favour with only one objection which officers believed had misunderstood the question.
The street drinkers are being given leaflets to make them aware of the zone and signs are being erected to highlight the behaviours prohibited by the order. Once finally in place it will hopefully improve things for the local residents.
Kostless Food & Wine at 29 Queenstown Road have applied for a licence.
Some might recognise the premises, which operated as a 24 hour store (although without a 24 hour alcohol licence) until recently. I understand that the premises suffered severe water damage following some plumbing difficulties, but someone is clearly looking to re-open the premises now. Some might be concerned by this since there was a feeling that anti-social behaviour in the alley-way besides the premises and the immediate area were connected with the old shop.
The new applicant is applying to sell alcohol from 10am until 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am until 11pm Friday and Saturday.
If you want to make a representation you have until 29 April. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:
The prevention of crime and disorder
The prevention of public nuisance
The protection of children from harm
Unfortunately there is no scope to complain on the grounds that they have clearly made up the word ‘kostless’.
Queenstown Food and Wine, a corner shop on Queenstown Road, have applied for an increase in their current licensed hours.
The application is for off-sales from 0700 to 0200 seven days a week. While this is earlier than many nearby licensed premises (for example Inigo, around the corner on Wandsworth Road in Lambeth) local residents may be concerned by an application in an area that has a record of anti-social behaviour problems.
Representations on the application can be made until 24 December, and to be considered by the licensing committee they need to relate to the four licensing objectives: