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New alcohol ban at Penarth Esplanade and Ogmore beach

 

A new alcohol ban at Penarth Esplanade and Ogmore beach could see people drinking in public facing fines.

The new rules will come into force from October, and could also cover Cosmeston Country Park, Porthkerry Country Park, Penarth Pier, Cwm Col-Huw in Llantwit Major, and Rhoose Point.

The ban will aim to prevent the recent increase in people drinking in public following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and associated anti-social behaviour. The beach at Ogmore-by-Sea saw a huge party at the end of June, with fights, litter and drugs.

People caught drinking alcohol in public in the newly restricted areas will be committing an offence, if they refuse to stop drinking when asked by a police officer or a council enforcement officer.

People who don’t give up their alcohol when asked will also be committing an offence.

The Vale of Glamorgan council is planning on expanding the Public Spaces Protection Order to cover the new areas, and will consult the public over the summer on the changes.

Miles Punter, director of environment and housing, explained the need for the expanded ban in a report to cabinet, which meets today (June 27).

Mr Punter said: “As the council does not tolerate anti-social behaviour on its resorts and public spaces, it will be necessary to add [the new areas], where there have been incidents and over the summer, and where council officers and the police had limited ability to manage anti-social behaviour as a result of alcohol consumption.

“This will enable the council and the police to provide a proportionate and robust response to addressing areas of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, across all areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.”

The alcohol ban already covers other parts of the Vale, like Barry Island.

Pubs and restaurants on Penarth Esplanade received a letter last week from council leader Neil Moore and managing director Rob Thomas, urging caution when selling alcohol.

Cllr Moore said: “I am aware of issues linked to excessive alcohol consumption affecting Penarth Esplanade and have written to local licensees asking for their help to address them.

“I appreciate this has been a difficult time for the hospitality industry and I welcome the fact many businesses have begun trading again, but the sale of alcohol must be carried out responsibly.

“Large gatherings, sometimes without proper social distancing, and anti-social behaviour are not acceptable will not be tolerated. They threaten to damage the reputation of the Penarth Esplanade area and make it less appealing to visitors. 

“With that in mind, it is in everyone’s interests that the Esplanade remains a safe, family friendly place for everyone to enjoy.

“I will soon discuss with my cabinet colleagues the possibility of introducing a Public Space Protection Order at the Esplanade making it illegal to consume alcohol in public areas.

“In the meantime, council officers will be carrying out regular checks around this location to make sure alcohol sales comply with the terms of individual licences and are not contributing to poor behaviour.”

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