Memorandum submitted by the Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association

 

 

The Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association (BAHA) is a membership organisation in Bournemouth with hotels, self-catering flats, attractions, restaurants in membership.

 

We wish to make the following comments to the Select Committee:

 

1. Change in levels of public nuisance.

The greatest problem in an area with several hotels and residential properties is the huge increase in late night noise between midnight and 5am, most especially from revellers returning home or, in the case of holiday resorts, returning to hotels. Police numbers are concentrated on the late night drinking establishments and there may be disturbances outside premises, but on the whole these are well policed by security staff and police. However this means that there are few law enforcement officers around to curb anti-social behaviour which is very disturbing to residents and hotel guests.

 

Non-smoking legislation has also had an effect - night-time smoking outside licensed premises, both in and out of designated areas, can lead to disturbances, both from smoke and from talking and drinking. This has been very noticeable outside hotels, particularly where smokers congregate - has any thought been given to the introduction of minimum distances for smoking areas to be placed.

 

2. Performance of live music.

There is no evidence of any noticeable impact on live music

 

3. Sporting and social clubs.

We have no knowledge of this area.

 

4. Bureaucracy.

The 'new' system is more bureaucratic and very much more expensive. The cost of a Licence for small hotels is quite exorbitant and frequently leads to a loss on the provision of alcohol.

 

5. Financial savings.

There are no financial savings - as outlined above the costs are very much greater under the Licensing Act 2003 than previously.

 

6. Other areas.

Supermarkets and Off Licences are the areas that require greater legislation and control. Cheap alcohol obtained from either of these sources lead to the majority of the problems that exist and are currently blamed on pubs and clubs. Far more attention should be paid on addressing the problems that stem from alcohol acquired this way, frequently by under age drinkers.

 

 

We are happy for this submission to be published.

 

We also attach some heart-felt comments from one of our member hotels which were made in response to our request for feedback for this inquiry.

 

Addition to the BAHA submission from a Bournemouth hotelier

 

A It's easy to knock pubs, clubs and bars

 

B     It makes great headlines - whether local or national

 

C    It's the current topic - after smoking ban, now alcohol abuse, next obesity - all down to business or commerce being at fault

 

D  The majority who benefit from value for money offers - later drinking - could suffer due to the minority

 

E    But the real problem is drinking at home - before going out

 

F   Groups of people - all ages drinking cheap supermarket beers, wines and spirits before going out.

 

G  Especially prevalent amongst young women - which has led to a reported or alleged increase in violence / anti social behaviour by young women

 

H  People are inebriated before they arrive at licensed premises and need very little additional drink before becoming drunk

 

I    Economic survival encourages businesses to heavily discount and compete on price - at near cost - to increase footfall. Minimum pricing certain degree - although anti competitive this needs to be legalised within a licensed area. To enable businesses to work together with sensible pricing policies as opposed to forming illegal cartels

 

J    Binge drinking - the use of shots did cause a big problem - but this is declining - noticeably manufacturers are marketing their products to be used as longer drinks mixed with minerals and drinking trends change

 

K  24 hours drinking - very few premises adopt very late night drinking. Those that do the majority are well run and certainly are much better than the seedy night clubs that previously offered the only alternative after the pubs closed.

 

L   Pubs, Clubs and Bars that encourage early drinking ie with drinks promotions or free entry before a certain time - cause people to drink longer or more quickly = anti social behaviour. Becoming a nuisance between midnight and 3am

 

M  Whilst those people adopting a European culture of going out late / drinking late tend to cause fewer problems when going home as late 5am as they buy drinks at premium prices.  

 

N  Student Towns - have always suffered from Students drinking to excess and behaving in an excess but non-violent manner. Others can object to those they perceive as being privileged and this leads to confrontation. This amplified by Bournemouth having one of the largest Student and Language School populations in the country. 

 

  

      O Market forces will come to bear and the current economic

situation will lesson the binge society -cultures evolve -

drink driving was much more prevalent but that has reduced

- especially more so amongst the young.

 

P  Moderation in all things is the answer - not by being governed by an over active nanny state with even more laws or regulations - but personal responsibility taught to all - by parents, families  - educators alike. We have all erred on occasions but it is the knowledge gained from these personal excesses that enable us as people to respect others. 

 

 

September 2008