Morpeth Town Council raises its concerns over shop in bus station's application to sell alcohol

Concern about a potential increase in anti-social behaviour is among the reasons why Morpeth Town Council is objecting to a proposal by the Martin’s shop in Morpeth bus station to sell alcohol.
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A premises licence application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council by an agent on behalf of the company. If approved, the opening times would change to 6am to 11pm each day.

Although the sale of alcohol would be for consumption off the premises, the town council believes there are strong reasons for the bid to be turned down.

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It has been listed to be heard by the county council's licensing sub committee on Thursday, November 9.

Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.
Morpeth Bus Station. Picture from Google.

The town council’s objection includes the following: “We are aware of regular public concerns about young people congregating in the bus station, both before and after school and into the evening, and the anti-social behaviour which can result.

“Although Sanderson Arcade has security staff, police or community enforcement officers have often been asked to attend during school hours. However, after 5pm there is no staff or security presence at all to ensure public safety.

“This can deter potential passengers such as the elderly, families and lone women from using the bus, at a time when bus use is being promoted and fares are cheaper. It also gives a bad impression of Morpeth to visitors and causes extra demands on police time.

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“We feel that the sale of alcohol on the bus station could only make this situation worse.

“There is nothing to prevent the alcohol that is purchased from being consumed by customers sitting in the bus station – contributing to more anti-social behaviour and intimidation of other bus customers and staff.”

The information submitted on behalf of Martin’s includes the following: “CCTV shall be provided on the premises and shall be kept in good working order.

“All staff engaged in the sale of alcohol will be trained in accordance with the premises licence holder’s training procedures.

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“All staff engaged in the sale of alcohol will receive suitable training (including refresher training) in relation to the proof of age ‘Challenge 25’ scheme to be applied on the premises.

"All checkout operators will operate a refusal log.”