There has been a big rise in problems in the centre of Deal caused by drinkers. No-one minds people going out and having a good time yet they have to respect residents whose lives are currently being blighted by noise, vandalism and general anti social behaviour. I have been working with the local Councils and Police to try and help, and I took the opportunity to ask the Home secretary today about how the Government can also assist by giving councils more power to stop late night drinking where it is causing real problem.
In the town of Deal that I represent, residents are beset in the early hours of the morning by drunks returning home, smashing up property and fights breaking out. The district council says that there is nothing it can do because of the rules brought in by Labour's 24-hour drinking culture. In changing the rules, will the Home Secretary give real power and discretion to the district councils?
My hon. Friend is right. We are changing the law on the powers of the licensing authorities, and I am sure that Deal and other towns and cities will find very helpful the early morning restriction orders, which will be introduced later this year and will enable local authorities to restrict licensed premises' ability to open between midnight and 6 am.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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