Ruffley welcomes formal consultation on Bury Special Licensing Area

Thursday, 7 August, 2008

David Ruffley MP has this week welcomed the formal consultation on a Special Area Policy for licensing in Bury St Edmunds town centre.

David supported the informal consultation following complaints from local residents over the proliferation of drunken behaviour in the town's historic centre.

A survey that has been running on David's website,, over the past two weeks has revealed that 'tackling drunken and antisocial behaviour' is residents' top concern. 38percent of respondents listed it as the most important issue facing Bury St Edmunds. The second placed concern was safeguarding the future of local Post Offices.

David said:

'I am delighted that the proposals for a Special Area Policy for licensing in our historic town centre has gone to formal consultation. The policy not only had my support but also that of Suffolk Constabulary, the two ward Councillors for the area and the Churchgate Area Association. This is a victory for common sense and a clear message that local residents have had enough of drunken behaviour on their doorsteps.

'This new policy will put the onus on the applicant to prove how they will prevent nuisance from their establishment- from the very outset they will be asked to consider how they will prevent the deterioration of the quality of life local residents enjoy. It is my hope that this policy will bring about a new culture of understanding between residents and licensees.

'The need for a vibrant evening economy is clear but this must not be to the detriment of quality of life in the area. To my mind this policy strikes the perfect balance.'