Holbeck shop’s alcohol licence opposed on public health grounds

The license application from Grocery Store on Domestic Street in Holbeck will be decided by Councillors sitting on the Licensing Sub-Committee on Friday (7 August 2020).

The Council’s public health team are opposing the application on the grounds that the area has one of the highest scores in their potential alcohol harm matrix in the city. They point to the high number of children in the area including above average numbers of children with learning disabilities and looked after children.

Holbeck also scores highly in terms of alcohol-related hospital admissions. Alcohol related crime is high including people being drunk and disorderly. The submission also refers to the “low level” threat felt by residents from sex workers and punters exacerbated by alcohol and it quotes two residents:

“People drinking alcohol and taking drugs outside, near St Matthew’s and at the park. It’s intimidating and the men leer at you in front of the kids and proposition you.”

“There are a lot of people here with alcohol and/or drug problems. Some people then get in to their cars and drive drunk and crazy.”

The submission concludes:

“In summary increasing the number of premises selling alcohol in the area is highly likely to add to the burden of ensuring public safety in the local area and increase the rates of public disorder. However of greatest concern is the vulnerability of children living in the area whom maybe at risk of alcohol related harm should another premises be granted an off license to sell alcohol.”

West Yorkshire Police have said they would not object to the application provided certain measures we put in place. These include maintaining an Incident Report Register and access to CCTV footage.

There are already seven licensed premises and shops in the immediate area.

You can read the full papers for the meeting by clicking here.


2 Replies to “Holbeck shop’s alcohol licence opposed on public health grounds”

  1. Growing up I would have laughed in disbelief if someone had told me that a newsagent or small shop was going to sell alcohol. Only off-licenses were allowed to sell alcohol alongside public houses when I was younger.

    Over the last few years Holbeck has lost several public houses. However, if statistics show that residents from Holbeck are near the top of the list for being treated at hospital for alcohol related injuries, I need to ask this question:
    ‘How many of these incidents have evidence that the alcohol was purchased from Holbeck and not a store or supermarket elsewhere in the city of Leeds?’
    Alcohol is readily available in stores and supermarkets around Leeds, and all over the country.
    I understand that there are many small stores in Holbeck that have an alcohol license. At least four of them are in close proximity on Top Moorside. Here’s another question:
    ‘Why have so many close proximity businesses been allowed to sell alcohol, and only now is something being done about it.?’

    Wouldn’t it have made more sense to allow the same amount of businesses to sell alcohol that were in the same vicinity as the public houses that were closed down eg. One pub closes, one nearby business is allowed to sell alcohol.
    I understand the frame of mind that thinks, if we limit the amount of stores that sell alcohol the problem will reduce. Unfortunately, if someone is desperate enough to drink, they will find a way to acquire what they need whether locally or not.

    Just a little extra to think about:
    Would it make any difference to A&E if no more stores are allowed to sell alcohol in Holbeck, as the problems were there before?
    Could it be possible for stores to ration their sales of alcohol to individuals?
    If you deny one store an alcohol license then don’t you need to deal with every store that sells alcohol to make a real difference?
    Don’t the majority of people drink responsibly?
    Is one person’s drinking responsibly another person’s not drinking responsibly?
    Are the authorities attempting to extinguish a fire with an eye dropper (Should they make a bigger statement than one small store)?
    If there was no alcohol in drinks, would people buy the product?

    There are so many questions, and I would think questions for those questions (And so on).

    Ever since alcohol was introduced into societies around the world, would it be correct to say that there have been problems, violence, loss of life, grief, financial cost and issues in general. The human body is not designed to be filled with brain altering and organ destroying substances, yet here we are.
    Huge organisation are now providing large contributions into economies in countries around the world, and they are allowed to produce products that are dangerous or are potentially dangerous. I’m no scientist, but if these organisation weren’t just about profit maybe they could find another way to make profit without risking others. Then perhaps local and national authorities wouldn’t have the magnitude of problems that they have now.

  2. I agree with Paul those who cannot go one day without drinking will buy it from wherever they can. Have seen men drinking at a bench on Top Moor Side on a regular basis at all hours – they don’t care who sees them , as for drug users seen one woman in a phone box bent over – looking like a user of spice – seen on local TV news where it’s a problem in other towns – they all give the area a very bad name – it’s a shame that decent people have to put up with these activities on a daily basis.

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