THE introduction of a new bye-law, which will ban the drinking of alcohol in public places in central Forfar, has been welcomed by Forfar Community Council chairperson Isobel Ross.
Byelaws which ban drinking alcohol in designated public places in all seven Angus burghs will take effect on September 29.
The Prohibition of Consumption of Alcohol in Designated Public Places (Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Monifieth and Montrose) Byelaws 2011 were approved by the council in July and have now been confirmed by the Scottish Ministers.
Angus Council already had byelaws in place in Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Kirriemuir and Montrose.
The new byelaws establish completely new areas to be covered in Forfar and Monifieth and create additional areas in Arbroath and Brechin.
The byelaws do not make any changes to the current areas covered in Carnoustie, Kirriemuir and Montrose.
Any person who consumes alcohol in a public place within areas designated by the byelaws shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.
Mrs Ross said she was looking forward to the new byelaw taking effect from September 29.
“Hopefully, it will be policed properly and will make our town centre more welcoming for locals and visitors.
“I have had numerous complains with regard to incidents of anti-social behaviour in the centre of town and, one day last May, I fielded no fewer than eight concerns from members of the public.
“The new byelaw will go some way to helping the authorities tackle the problems associated with the area around The Cross, and other problem areas, such as the East & Old Church graveyard and, more recently, the revamped East Greens play area.”
The convener of the Licensing Board, councillor John Whyte, welcomed the introduction of the byelaws and thanked all those who participated in the extensive consultation process which lead to the byelaws being brought into force.
He also urged the owners of licensed premises to carefully check the terms of their premises licence to ensure that beer gardens or other external areas where the consumption of alcohol is permitted are covered by their licence.
He said: “If beer gardens or other external areas where the consumption of alcohol is allowed are not covered by a premises licence and if the area is considered to be a public place within the byelaw areas then patrons consuming alcohol in that area will be committing a criminal offence. If a premises licence holder is in any doubt as to which parts of their premises are covered by their premises licence then they should contact the offices of the clerk to the board for advice and assistance.”
Copies of the confirmed byelaws, which include plans showing the extent of the affected areas, may be inspected during normal business hours at the Access Offices and public libraries in Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Monifieth and Montrose, at Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar and on the council’s website at www.angus.gov.uk