No change to local drinking bye-laws

REVISED bye-laws come into force this month banning the drinking of alcohol in areas of all seven Angus burghs.

But despite a consultation phase which began in June, 2009, no amendments have been made to Montrose’s existing bye-laws, which were among the first to be introduced in the county.

They have stood since 2000 with the aim of deterring adults from moving between pubs and clubs with glasses and bottles, as well as tackling outdoor gatherings of ‘problem drinkers’. They apply to the whole of the town centre and Mid Links areas.

The new bye-laws were approved by the local authority in July and have now been confirmed by Scottish Ministers.

Completely new areas will be covered in Forfar and Monifieth, while additional zones will be included in Arbroath and Brechin.

The legislation, which applies from September 29, carries fines of up to £500 for anyone found drinking alcohol in a public place within certain designated areas.

Councillor John Whyte, convener of Angus Council’s licensing board, welcomed their introduction. He also urged the owners of licensed premises to carefully check the terms of their licences to ensure that beer gardens or other outside areas where the consumption of alcohol is permitted are covered.

The move has also been welcomed by local MSP Nigel Don who said they will help to tackle antisocial behaviour in problem areas.

He commented: “I welcome the news of the extended bye-laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in designated public places in Angus. Drinking alcohol in public can cause considerable problems for the local community and the bye-laws will ensure that residents are protected from any nuisance and disorder.

“We still have a serious problem with alcohol abuse in Scotland which can’t be ignored, and I look forward to the reintroduction of minimum pricing proposals by the Scottish Government to help tackle the harm caused by alcohol abuse.”

Montrose councillor Paul Valentine, a member of the licensing board who put forward the proposals, also said the legislation will help the image of Angus town centres.

He said: “The aim of the legislation is to ensure the dispersal of revellers from town centres to discourage disorder and to promote our town centres as pleasant areas to visit, and the bye-laws represent a sensible approach to achieving these aims.”