There is no doubt that the link between the high number of off-licenses in the Armley Town Street area, selling strong alcohol at a cheap price, has been the main driving force for why problems due to street drinking has been a chronic problem for local residents.
While efforts are made to ensure current licensees follow the law and police advice by not selling to under 18s and people who are clearly drunk, we must act now to ensure no more off-licenses open on Town Street in the foreseeable future. This is why I lobbied Leeds City Council to draw up a Cumulative Impact Policy for Armley. I have been working closely with the Armley Councillors, Jim McKenna, Alice Smart and Alison Lowe along with Bramley Councillor and Inner West Community Committee Chair, Councillor Kevin Ritchie, to move things along. A Cumulative Impact Policy is a policy set over a geographical area that ensures that Council Licensing Committees deciding on applications have to consider the impact new premises and licenses will have on the rest of the area. Measures such as this in Armley Town Street would take into consideration the high levels of street drinking and anti-social behaviour recorded by Public Health and the Police. Cumulative Impact Policies are already in place in Headingley and Chapel Allerton and they have been very successful. In the long-term, I am planning to make an amendment to the Licensing Act 2003 to make sure that communities have more of a say on applications in their area. I am hopeful that a Cumulative Impact Policy in Armley will make sure residents have a greater voice in local decisions that have a direct impact on their livelihoods, wellbeing and general experience of Town Street.