Wor­ries anti-so­cial be­hav­iour will re­turn as town pub’s set to re­open

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Late Night Fears -

“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

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