Bid to ban booze in Corsham

This Is Wiltshire: Councillor Peter Davis, at Springfield Recreation Ground, Corsham, is promoting the council’s policy on stamping out anti-social drinking Councillor Peter Davis, at Springfield Recreation Ground, Corsham, is promoting the council’s policy on stamping out anti-social drinking

Alcohol could be banned from the streets of Corsham as town councillors look to clamp down on increased reports of anti-social behaviour.

The possibility of introducing alcohol exclusion zones was discussed during Monday’s meeting of Corsham Town Council.

It follows reports of drinking at Springfield Recreation Ground, Meriton Avenue Recreation Ground, at the benches outside the Co-op in the Martingate Centre, and in other parts of Corsham.

At present, police have no power to confiscate alcohol from those over the age of 18.

Coun Elaine Marston said: “Over the summer months, I have had numerous concerns raised about drinking in our recreation grounds.

“You will often find empty boxes filled with cans and bottles.

“It is not just the litter, it is the disturbance to the residents in the early hours of the morning.

“The drinkers have also been shoving glass bottles into the ground, which proves dangerous for people using the facilities.”

Coun Marston also said she had been told of incidents where over-18s had been buying alcohol for underage drinkers and then staying with them to prevent the police from confiscating it.

Councillors said they were interested in investigating the idea of alcohol exclusion zones and that town clerk David Martin would report back on the practicalities of it at November’s town council meeting.

PC Hazel Anderson told the meeting: “It is not a big problem in Corsham, I’d like to stress, but we are aware of the odd report and obviously the litter that it creates.

“At the moment we don’t have any powers to confiscate the alcohol from adults and we don’t think their behaviour is a great example for the youth of Corsham.

“If we had something like the zones in place then we could deal with the problem.”

Some town councillors raised concerns that exclusion zones, possibly covering every street in the town, could prove a difficulty when staging public events and also could have a detrimental effect on Corsham’s pubs.

The council also supported the idea of adding special exceptions to the zones, if they are introduced, which would mean public events such as Corsham’s annual fete, which takes place in Springfield Recreation Ground, would not be affected.

Town council chairman Peter Anstey said: “The important thing is that we are proactive, not reactive, on this subject.”

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