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Islington Council begins clamp-down of alcohol licensed premises on Cally Road

May 31, 2013
Caledonian Road - Texaco Garage Co-op

The co-op grocery store wanted a 24 hour alcohol off-license which Councillors were ready to reject

Two new alcohol license applications on Caledonian Road have been turned down – including one wanting 24 hour sales – by elected Councillors in the past month. This reflects Labour’s pledge to get a grip on the epidemic of alcohol outlets particularly those serving late into the night.

Islington has some of the highest rates of alcohol-fuelled crime anywhere in Britain and late night drinking results in huge costs for policing and clean-up. In tough times, it’s another financial strain that puts great pressure on public services, especially the police and NHS.

That’s why the Council’s new licensing policy has declared much of Caledonian Ward to be a “saturation zone” which means that new applications for alcohol licenses will normally be refused. The new policy also says that, in future, licensed premises will be expected to close by 11pm weekdays and midnight on weekends.

There are almost 100 premises in Caledonian Ward that have alcohol licenses. Some of these are restaurants, traditional pubs and small neighbourhood bars which cause no trouble at all. But almost 60 of these premises are off-licenses which sell alcohol for people to take-away. And some of these have acquired licenses allowing them to open very late into the night.

The two premises that have been turned down are:

  • Co-op “Welcome” grocery store at the Texaco Garage, 219-227 Caledonian Road. The Co-op had asked to extend its alcohol sales to 24 hours, 7 days a week. Barely hours before the Town Hall committee was due to reject the application, the Co-op suddenly withdrew it. The Police had submitted substantial evidence against granting the license.
  • The Da Hai (Ocean Chinese Supermarket) at 334-336 Caledonian Road asked for an alcohol license 10am to 11pm Monday to Sunday. The applicants had been warned that they would have to show that, if they sold alcohol, it would not worsen the existing problem in the Cally Road “saturation zone”. The owners were invited twice to appear before the committee considering the application but failed to show up both times.

Caledonian Ward councillor Paul Convery said, “I was quite cross that the Co-op asked for a 24/7 license. They are an ethical business that should have known better so I welcomed their last minute withdrawal of the license application. In the case of Da Hai Ocean Chinese Supermarket, I sympathise with the applicants who are running a very nice speciality food shop who are doing good business and I wish them well. However, they were unable to explain how they would manage an alcohol license in ways that did not add to the existing impact of excessive alcohol outlets on the Cally.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Sweeney permalink
    May 31, 2013 3:47 pm

    This is excellent news. Well done to all those concerned and to the Islington Councillors. Many local residents of that area wil be very relieved to hear this news. Common sense decisions worked well here. Mike Sweeney

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