Local Billericay residents have set up a 'Bar Watch' group to monitor late-night drinking as part of a new campaign to log incidents of antisocial behaviour in the town.
This is reaction to Basildon Council approving plans by local bar, Stewarts to extend its opening hours until 1.30am weekends and 12.30am weeknights, after 100 objections. The group will log incidents of crime, noise and other issues in and around the High Street to encourage Essex Police and Basildon Council to tighten up licensing restrictions on pubs and bars in the town.
Around 40 residents attended a meeting held by Borough Councillors after concerns that Billericay High Street is turning into a 'pub alley'.
Phil Turner, ward councillor for Billericay said, “At the meeting, we discussed what action residents need to take to gather the evidence we need to be able to review the situation with the licensing committee. This could help the committee to impose further stricter measures that will force licensees into additional measures they need to deal with excessive noise, antisocial behaviour and other disturbances. Residents are being asked to join our campaign and report any incident they witness to the local authority, the police or both, so we can build up intelligence of the infringements up and down the High Street.”
Many members were also part of the group who campaigned to close the bar Green Tees in the High Street after numerous complaints about punch-ups and underage drinking. Mr Turner added, “Our campaign, which saw the end of Green Tees, has now been given new momentum and new purpose to stem the march of High Street into what other towns have witnessed and termed ‘pub alley’. We are not at war with the licensed trade, but we are energised to curb poor management practices that have seen the rise of antisocial behaviour which adversely threatens our way of life.”
If you would like more information about the group please contact Mr Turner on 01277 633918