April 26, 2008 12:00 AM

A compromise reached between a convenience store, local residents and representatives from the police could be a groundbreaking initiative in licensing and alcohol sales.

A convenience store located on Norfolk Street applied for a new premises licence to remain open and sell alcohol from 6:30 to 23:00, facing massive opposition from local residents. The residents expressed major concerns about public safety, public nuisance and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

After constructive discussions at a meeting of the City Council Licensing Sub-Committee, a new application was submitted addressing some of the residents' concerns. Conditions on the new application include a no self-service of alcohol, a restriction of alcohol sales to between 8am and 8pm and on types and quantity of alcohol sold. Also included is a police approved training session for members of staff who sell alcohol.

Councillor Philippa Slatter, member of the Licensing committee, commented:

"I'm delighted that such a compromise was reached between the applicants and local residents. The "Norfolk Street agreement" could be a groundbreaking decision and I'm grateful for Norfolk St residents' involvement.

"I share Cambridge residents' concerns on irresponsible shopkeepers selling to liquor to youngsters or people who are obviously already intoxicated. Norfolk Street particularly suffers from street drinkers during the day when children are going to and from school and nursery.

"I welcome the applicant's decision to restrict alcohol sales and I'm very thankful that they're willing to promote responsible behaviours. I hope this agreement will help improve our neighbourhoods and reduce anti-social behaviours."


Notes to Editors

1) The conditions in the new applications are as follows:

o Sale of alcohol between 08.00 and 20.00, Monday to Sunday;

o No sherry to be sold;

o No beer, lager or cider more than 5.5% alcohol by volume to be sold;

o No discount for multiple purchases of alcohol;

o All alcohol shall be located behind the counter;

o No self service of alcohol;

o Alcohol only to be sold by staff members whose training has been approved in writing by the police : (to apply to all staff recruited from April 2008);

o Staff shall be fully trained in alcohol sales with ongoing refresher training;

o An audible alarm system shall be installed and maintained in working order;

o CCTV equipment with recording facilities shall be installed at the premises and maintained in working order. Images shall be retained for 31 days and made available to the police upon reasonable request;

o Staff shall be trained in fire safety and evacuation procedures;

o Fire safety equipment shall be located on site, maintained in working order and staff trained in its use;

o On occasions when the venue is open for the sale of alcohol, a "Challenge 21" policy will actively be operated. This will include a voluntary agreement to only accept identity cards with a 'pass' accreditation, passports of photo ID driving licences, or any future identification card as approved by central government, a bona-fide recognised forms of identification;

o A refusal to serve book shall be kept and information recorded as appropriate.

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