Felicity Tulloch, an associate in the licensing department at Manchester-based Kuits Solicitors, said other local authorities will “struggle” to bring in the controversial measure, following Blackpool’s decision last week. If introduced, Blackpool would have been the first council to implement the ban.
Speaking at the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association’s 21st Annual General Meeting yesterday, Tulloch said: “[Blackpool’s decision] could spell the end of the EMRO. It may be subject to further challenge by the police, but I think it will deter other councils from going down that route. The cost of it and the potential for legal challenge is just too great.”
Lambeth Council is now the only local authority consulting on an EMRO, which is proposed from the corner of Wandsworth Road and North Street, Clapham from midnight until 6am and would affect four licensed premises. A hearing on the measure was held on 15 and 16 January 2014, with a further two dates scheduled for 17 and 20 February.
However, Tulloch added: “It will be interesting to see whether Lambeth proceeds with its plans in light of the Blackpool decision. But I suspect we won’t see EMROs across the country following that decision.”
Manchester EMRO rejection
Manchester City Council also recently rejected proposals for an EMRO in the city’s Gay Village.
Kuits Solictors head of licensing Tony Lyons, who was also speaking at the event, said the rejection came after a Pubwatch meeting was held with leading councillors, senior police officers and the licensing trade.
“Those kinds of gatherings really help and I give credit to those who organised it because we were able to make [the council] think again,” he said.
“They might have this notion that it’s a good idea, to cut hours back and get rid of anti-social behaviour. But it’s always the unforeseen consequences of these initiatives you have to be aware of.
“We were able to bring that home to them to think about, and the good news was they shelved it.”