Camra to lobby against glassware bans in pubs

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Glass

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is to lobby against blanket bans on traditional glassware in pubs. The group believes that total bans on glass...

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is to lobby against blanket bans on traditional glassware in pubs.

The group believes that total bans on glass containers are a "huge over-reaction" to the problem of glassing attacks.

Camra members voted to oppose blanket bans at its AGM this weekend, following an impassioned plea by Camra members in Scotland, where glass bans are imminent.

The use of conventional glassware will be banned from all pubs in Glasgow from January 2007. Edinburgh City Council is also discussing a total ban.

Ted Sharp, secretary of Camra's Edinburgh and South East Scotland branch, said banning glass at pubs was like using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut. "A very small proportion of all violent incidents involve glass," said Sharp.

He added: "The glass ban started in Glasgow and then went to Edinburgh. It's only a matter of time before it goes south of the border."

Camra will decide its next course of action on glass bans over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, two campaigns to ban conventional glassware from pubs are stalling because of inaction by the industry and Government.

The campaigns are spearheaded by parents of two glassing victims - doorman Blake Golding and former model Louise McClintock - and backed by the Institute of Licensing (IOL). Around 25,000 signatures have been collected in total for both campaigns.

IOL vice-chairman Jim Hunter said: "The industry is dragging it's feet on this. We are hitting our heads against a brick wall."

IOL representatives, including council officers and licensing experts, plan to meet major pub and nightclub operators and brewers to persuade them to move to shatter-proof glass.

Hunter said his local MP in Taunton, Liberal Democrat Jeremy Brown, did not manage to persuade Home Secretary Charles Clarke to push for a glass ban at a recent meeting.

Hunter disagreed with Camra's opposition to blanket glass bans. "I can understand if they say they don't want to use plastic. But with toughened glass, what's the difference?"

Hunter added: "Only one quarter of all glass-related injuries are caused by assaults. It can happen in any premises."

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