Bournemouth ‘a drunken mess’

A local town councillor has condemned Bournemouth town centre as ‘a drunken mess’. Now the council is taking steps to improve the situation.

A Bournemouth councilor has condemned the nighttime culture of the Town Centre.

Councilor David Smith, Cabinet member for Communities and Welfare said, “At present the situation in the Town Centre is a drunken mess over the weekends. We need to bring in some policies that will manage the situation.”

The Council is concerned about the problems of alcohol misuse

The councilor was speaking in context of the Bournemouth Council’s plans to set up public consultations about how best to manage the nightlife in Bournemouth. It has asked an external agency, Feria Urbanism, to carry out consultations in two phases about the nighttime economy.

John Shipp, the night time economy coordinator for Bournemouth, said, the first phase, which begins in at the end of March, will involve gathering opinions from members of clubs, restaurants and pubs in the area. The second phase in April will bring together opinions of the parties on how best to regulate activities at the Town Centre.

In neighboring Poole, Jan Thurgood, Strategic director of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, agreed that, “Bournemouth had a bigger night time economy and the police work together.” The Poole Council recently took steps, to ensure they are prepared to tackle problems arising from Poole’s nightlife.

Jan Thurgood, Strategic Director, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Poole Council, says, “Poole is looking to control the harm caused due to alcohol abuse” :

In an Alcohol Evidence Day report presented before the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, in Poole Council this week, problems associated with increasing alcohol consumption were discussed.

Measures suggested, ranged from better training for hospital staff about alcohol abuse, enforcement of alcohol free zones within the borough, involving children in schools and educating them about effects of alcoholism.

Last November, a meeting called Alcohol Evidence day was held between members of Dorset Police, Poole Hospital etc. where different aspects of Poole’s Night Time Economy were looked at. “There was general concern raised by councilors about the ill effects of an alcohol driven culture among youth in Poole. They did not want Poole to fall victim to alcohol problems,” says Victoria Wathen, Team Leader, Overview and Scrutiny.

As per the report’s findings, Poole comprises 4 per cent of crimes occurring at night in Dorset. However, ever since bars started mushrooming in Ashley Cross in Poole Town, cases of violence have risen, says the report. Robert Spencer from Poole’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team said, “96 young people came forward for alcohol treatment in 2010-11. The problem is not alarming yet.”

The wider concerns raised by this report were cases of domestic violence. “Though figures were not available, the report highlighted a direct link between alcohol and domestic violence,” added Miss Wathen.

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