Late twist in bid to introduce 24-ban on drinking alcohol along Seaton Promenade
A partial ban on drinking alcohol along a seaside promenade is to be introduced after the idea was narrowly voted through by councillors.
The order will be in place along Seaton Promenade between 6am-8pm from April to the start of October and between 8am-4pm from October until the end of March.
Restrictions will also be in place, imposed as part of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), to prohibit drinking 24 hours a day in Hartlepool Ward Jackson Park, Seaton Park, Rossmere Park, Burn Valley Gardens and Summerhill Country Park.
The promenade ban was also going to be 24 hours until Cllr Marjorie James, speaking at Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee meeting on Friday, raised a motion for the amended hours.
She said: “It would see the best of both worlds, it would allow for the evening economy to take place after 8pm during the summer but it would protect children and families before 8pm.”
Cllr Sue Little, Seaton ward representative, who seconded the motion, said the order comes after a large number of people last summer were urinating in the streets following pubs reopening for takeaway drinks.
She said: “It’s the anti-social behaviour aspects of the drinking that we’re trying to enforce, it’s when people start urinating all over the place, exposing themselves in front of families walking along the prom.
“That’s not acceptable and that’s the kind of behaviour that we’re trying to stop in Seaton, we’re a lovely family resort.
“It’s the nuisance that the alcohol causes that residents in Seaton are wanting to stop, we had about 12 weeks of hell in Seaton with people urinating everywhere and exposing themselves, we don’t want that in Seaton, we don’t want that in Hartlepool.”
However Darab Rezai, representing the Hartlepool Licensees Association, voiced concerns over the Seaton Promenade ban.
He said: “You can go to Tynemouth, you can go to Whitley Bay and you can go to South Shields, you haven’t got an automatic ban that you cannot have a drink.
“If we are going to put that ban on Seaton Carew on the promenade, what we are going to give? We are going to give a negative image of Hartlepool compared to all the other seasides.
“We should deal with that minority misbehaving rather than punishing the majority of people.”
Several councillors on the committee also voiced their concerns over the Seaton promenade ban.
Cllr Tom Cassidy said: “I think this proposal to ban drinking on the promenade is nothing but a business killer for the hospitality sector.”
Council officers reminded councillors the PSPO on the consumption of alcohol does not apply to any area covered by a premises licence, such as beer gardens.
The Seaton Promenade PSPO was approved by four votes to three while the order to ban drinking in parks was passed unanimously.
Additionally, a separate Parks PSPO prohibiting riding skateboards, scooters and bicycles where they cause “annoyance, nuisance or damage” in the town’s parks and other open spaces, was passed unanimously.
The PSPOs will come in from April 1 this year – allowing time for them to be publicised and signs erected – and carry fines of up to £1,000 if breaches are taken to court.