Worries anti-social behaviour will return as town pub’s set to reopen
“People will be walking down the church passage urinating everywhere, and I just don’t think that’s fair on residents.”
That’s the fear of a worried councillor who has spoken of his concern of an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour when a town centre pub reopens after two years.
Cllr Jeremy Adby said he believed problems in the churchyard will resurface when the Phoenix, in Tufton Street, opens its doors next month.
Cllr Adby has previously been ward member for Victoria Ward and although he is now ward member for North Willesborough, he still lives in the area.
He had tirelessly campaigned on behalf of fellow residents against late night criminal and anti-social behaviour associated with pubs in the area, including the Phoenix.
He said: “Everyone is aware of the problems we’ve had in the churchyard in the past and we don’t want to go back to that situation.
“I’m not saying that all the problems were caused by the Phoenix’s patrons, but there is a lot of evidence to say that since it has closed, hardly any cases of anti-social behaviour have been reported.
“Speaking as a resident, the council have alternatives. They can refuse the licence full stop or they can amend parts of it.
“We don’t want to go back to people urinating against walls, dealing drugs or causing criminal damage.”
Mr Adby said his concerns are for the problems caused when people leave the pub because the licensee is no longer responsible for them.
He added: “They could be walking down the church passage urinating everywhere and even though the company sold them alcohol, it’s fine because it’s not their problem.
“I’m sure most of the people who would be frequenting the Phoenix are well behaved, but unfortunately it is a small percentage that cause the problems.”
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk Lockable gates, pictured above, at the entrance to Ashford’s St Mary’s Churchyard from the High Street were erected in 2014 after residents’ concerns about antisocial behaviour from drunks using the churchyard as a short cut between Tufton Street and town centre pubs.
The gates, which are locked between 10pm and 6am on Fridays and Saturdays, were installed after a six-year campaign for action by residents.
Drunks were said to be making noise, smashing windows, pushing food and lit cigarettes through letter boxes and urinating in doorways.
Leaflets were handed out in pubs and to other businesses to inform people about the gates and to suggest an alternative route between the High Street and Tufton Street via Bank Street.
A drunken reveller is caught urinating outside a resident’s home in the Church Yard