PEOPLE fed up with booze and drug-fuelled behaviour blighting Spalding town centre are being urged to sign up to a new campaign to stamp it out.
John Hayes, South Holland and The Deepings MP, is fronting the campaign aimed at tackling antisocial behaviour caused by drink and drugs that is making life a misery for residents.
Mr Hayes has drawn up a five-point plan to address increasing anger over cheap alcohol on sale in shops such as discount health and beauty store Savers along with rowdiness, drug taking and urinating on the streets.
The plan calls for a police crackdown on antisocial behaviour and stronger enforcement of a town centre-wide ban on drinking as covered by the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) made by South Holland District Council in December 2009.
Mr Hayes also wants the council to be more responsible in keeping public order, use existing licensing laws to monitor which town centre premises are selling alcohol and also tackle problems of litter and graffiti.
If you want to back Mr Hayes’ plea, fill in the form linked at the bottom of the story and send it to: “We’ve Had Enough”, Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding, or pop it into our offices.
The forms will be presented by Mr Hayes to the Chief Constable and the leader of South Holland District Council.
Mr Hayes said: “I wrote to the licensing authorities two months ago about alcohol licenses in Spalding because I’ve always supported the restriction on on-street drinking in the town centre.
“So I find it extraordinary that a shop like Savers is selling alcohol and extraordinary that they are allowed to.
“You are bound to encourage on-street drinking it seems to me in an area where we’re trying to prevent it.
“I will be writing to the licensing authorities to say that this is an example of the proliferation of businesses in Spalding selling alcohol and the consequences of that.
“How many businesses do we need in Spalding selling alcohol?
“It’s almost as easy to buy alcohol in Spalding as it is to buy a loaf of bread.”
Mr Hayes will also hold talks with Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes about Spalding’s Abbey Path which has become a meeting place for drinkers, drug dealers and addicts.
“Abbey Path has become a magnet for antisocial behaviour because it’s not easy to see what is going on there.
“From a police point of view, they aren’t going to be there every hour, every day, but I would be delighted to take the issue of Abbey Path up with the Chief Constable.
“I did meet with him a couple of weeks ago and one of the things we talked about was the policing of Spalding.
“I want to see a zero-tolerance policy in terms of antisocial behaviour and will be more than happy to lead a campaign to eliminate it from the centre of Spalding,” Mr Hayes said.
The campaign has been backed by district councillor Gary Taylor who visited Abbey Path last Thursday.
He said: “As the ward member for the area, I do walk down Abbey Path two or three times a week.
“Having spoken to people and police officers, I do think it was worse two or three years ago and it’s become better because of some of the actions we’ve taken.
“We contacted the land owners and they erected metal barriers to prevent some of the things the alleyway was being used for.
“But there shouldn’t be any no-go areas in Spalding town centre and we need to involve the residents in finding solutions to any problems in Abbey Path.
“It’s a small compact area to focus on and it shouldn’t be as difficult to find solutions as current headlines suggest.”