Booze ban can help bring back order

FURTHER concerns with regard to anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of The Cross in Forfar have prompted the local community council chairman to call for the bid to create an alcohol free zone to be processed as soon as possible.

The recent spell of glorious sunshine encouraged more people out on to the streets of Forfar, but it was not all good news.

Forfar Community Council chairman Isobel Ross was informed of further incidents of anti-social behaviour by a small element gathering at the paved area in Castle Street.

“I have had calls from people who are fed up witnessing scenes of an anti-social nature while out shopping in the centre of town,” she commented.

“It’s not just the drinking that is a concern, as there are occasions when a small element can get out of hand, and it is alarming for those who are passing by.”

Mrs Ross explained that community councillors have been pushing for the creation of an alcohol free zone in the centre of town for the last couple of years.

“I hope that the proposals can be progressed with due haste, because, once the bye-laws are in place, it will be the police and the local authority greater leverage to deal with any incidents that may occur.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council explains that the proposals to ban boozing in public in a designated area of town were making progress.

“In December of last year Angus Council agreed to approve the recommendations for alcohol free zones for a number of burghs in Angus, including Forfar.

“The draft bye laws were submitted to Tayside Police and the Procurators Fiscal for Angus for comment.

“They did not suggest any substantive changes or amendments, so the proposals were then sent to the Scottish Government on April 20.

“The council expects to hear back from the Scottish Government with their comments towards the end of this month.

“If the Scottish Government is satisfied with the form and content of the bye laws, then they will advise the council that the bye laws should now be made.

“Once the bye laws have been made, they will be advertised in a local paper and copies made available for inspection by the public at various council offices.

“The advertisement will state that any objections must be made direct to Scottish Ministers within one month of the date of the advertisement.

“Assuming that there are no objections, the signed copy must be sent to the Scottish Ministers for confirmation at the expiry of the objection period.

“The date when the bye laws come into force will be agreed between the council and Scottish Government.

“The council must inform the relevant authorities and advertise the date in advance.

“Signs must also be put up in the specified areas.

“If there are objections, these will be dealt with by the Criminal Law and Licensing Division of the Scottish Government liaising with the council.

“Reports on the progress of this matter will be submitted to council as and when required.”