Licensing councillors are today due to debate calls to cut town centre drinking hours in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s Licensing Committee meets at 10am in the civic centre to consider the chance of introducing an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO).
A motion for an order to prevent pubs and clubs selling alcohol between 2am and 6am was put forward to the council last month by Councillor Paul Thompson and supported by a number of others.
It followed an online petition started by town resident and businessman Stephen Worthy which was backed by more than 700 people.
A report to the licensing committee states that the authority would need to show that there are recurring alcohol-related problems in a specific area between midnight and 6am in order to justify an EMRO.
The report by Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Hartlepool’s Interim Director of Public Health, says violent crime has fallen significantly since 2005.
A number of readers reacted to the issue on our website hartlepoolmail.co.uk.
A reader going by the name Big King Bilk said: “‘Discuss the feasibility’ of something that worked perfectly fine until the clowns introduced stupidly late hours.
“So feckless, stop wasting our money and just sort it out.”
Print The Legend added: “Wonder what the cost of the ‘night time economy’ is to the already over stretched emergency services?”
Jenny Thornton wrote: “Yes they should close them by 12 then idiots won’t think there 10 men and pick on people while they out minding there own business.”
Alan Spindloe said: “I think they should ban drinking.”
David Rudd added: “Go back to the 11pm time and put the age limit back upto 21.”
Liam Hanson commented: “No one will be out then.”
Caroline Armstrong wrote: “Last orders 11pm..night club kicks out 2 am...kebab and then home. Not these ridiculous late night open all night hours!”
Carl Clyne added: “As above, 11pm pubs and bars last orders, night clubs kick out at 2.”
The council report says Hartlepool’s night life is not as busy as it once was.
Following the introduction of 24-hour licensing laws, a number of Hartlepool night spots stay open until 4am, where as many other towns close at 2am.
It has led to people drinking cheaper alcohol at home and heading into Hartlepool a lot later than they used to.
The committee is expected to look at the issue again in the summer as Dr Edmondson-Jones says there has not been time to explore all the options yet.