Hackney Council Defend New Nightlife Proposal

A few weeks back, Hackney Council declared that it wants to stop any new bars or clubs from opening after 11pm in the week and midnight at weekends. As the home to Dalston’s Dance Tunnel, Shoreditch’s XOYO, Hackney’s Oslo, the Waiting Room in Stoke Newington and more, news of the proposed changes didn’t go down well.

Hackney Council have now defended their current consultation on the future of the borough’s nightlife. Council member, Emma Plouviez, has issued a public statement regarding the council’s draft licensing policy for 2016. She stated that “in no way […] aimed at allowing us to make all venues close at midnight; not now, or in the future.”

Some businesses are questioning the need for the updated policy, claiming we want to impose a ‘blanket ban’ on new licences. This is not true. The current Shoreditch Special Policy Area (SPA) has been in place in since 2005 and anyone familiar with the area will know there’s not been a crackdown on new bars and clubs opening, quite the opposite, it’s just allowed us to manage things more effectively. The extension of the SPA would allow us to manage other areas in the same way.

Plouviez adds: “It’s true that the night-time economy creates jobs and brings visitors and money to the borough, which is great, but more and more residents who live in areas such as Dalston and Shoreditch are having to contend with people peeing in their gardens, shouting outside their windows at 4 AM and a host of other antisocial behaviour. Alcohol-related ambulance calls are also on the increase during the evening in these areas, as is the cost to the taxpayer of having to clear up the ever growing piles of litter every weekend.”

If you want to help save Hackney nightlife, a petition has been set up here.

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