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Smaller drink order anger

Continued protests have been made by councillors about plans to exclude areas around Bognor Regis from anti-social behaviour controls.


The Arun District Council members said they wanted to see the latest public space protection order still covering sites like King George V Playing Field in Felpham.


But a move to refer the matter to the council’s cabinet ended in confusion at the full council meeting on Wednesday.


Councillors voted against a motion to refer their comments to the cabinet next year to be considered in the formal response to the new protection order being created for next April.


Chief executive Nigel Lynn said: “Councillors, what you have voted for goes nowhere and the comments you have made do not go to cabinet.”


The current protection order was created in 2017 and covers most of the Arun district. It enables police to restrict alcohol consumption and act against persistent anti-social behaviour.


To make the proposed order easier to enforce, it will ban alcohol drinking but only in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton town centres. This has alarmed councillors in other areas. They first made their views known at a meeting of the Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee last month.


However, the recommendation the sub-committee thought it had made to the full council was wrong, Mr Lynn said at the full council meeting. It should have been made to the next meeting of the cabinet.


Cllr Paul English (C, Felpham E) said sites like King George V had to be included.


“I believe the protection order is required to stay in all of the Arun district. It affects all of us. It affects our electorate,” he said.


The proposed order would be welcomed for tackling problems in Bognor Regis. “But it’s going to shove all of it out to the rest of us. That is not on.


“The order stops unreasonable behaviour, wrong drinking and general trouble-makers. That’s why it’s there.”


Cllr Jacky Pendleton (C, Middleton) said: “It’s important we recognise we are one district, not two urban areas.


“We need to protect the people who live, work and play in all of our district, not just specific areas. We are all at risk.”


Individuals affected by the proposed new order in the towns would take their behaviour to nearby areas, she said.


Cabinet member for technical services, Cllr Matt Stanley, pledged he would ensure the councillors’ views were represented at the relevant cabinet meeting.

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