Stoke-on-Trent City Council Consultations on new Alcohol Restriction Zone for Tunstall

Residents in Tunstall are being reminded to give their views on a proposed new Alcohol Restriction Zone in the area. Two consultation events will take place this week, at Tunstall Market on Wednesday 16 November and Friday 18 November, council officers will be available from 9am – 2pm on both days.

The proposed zone would cover the town centre and extend to other parts of the town as shown in the map.

Alcohol Restriction Zones are only put into place in areas that have experienced alcohol related disorder or nuisance, and give police officers the ability to ask people to stop drinking, and if they refuse, arrest them.

Tony Oakman, director of adult and neighbourhood services, said

This isn’t about making drinking a criminal offence in Tunstall, it’s about giving police officers the power to act if they feel that a problem is being caused by people drinking in a public place. Those drinking responsibly have nothing to worry about – the consultation will give people the chance to tell us if they think the conditions and the areas the zone will cover are appropriate.

LPT Commander for Tunstall, Chief Inspector Adrian Roberts added

We have been working closely with colleagues at Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Safer City Partnership to tackle the issues being raised by local residents and the business community. This is about creating a safe and secure environment for people to go about their business without being affected by individuals who are under the influence of alcohol. Issues, such as anti-social behaviour as a result of drinking in the street, can cause misery and can blight communities and have a detrimental impact on businesses. I would like to encourage members of the public to give their views.

If any members of the community are unable to make it to either of the consultations and have any comments these can be made either in writing to

Safer City Partnership,
Town Hall, Civic Centre
Glebe Street

or by email 

Chancellor No Darling Over Cider Tax

Cider drinkers all over the country are today wishing that they could put Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling through a cider press for taxing their favourite bevvy by a whopping 10%!

The budget has already being dubbed as the ‘Mangner’ Carter by cider lovers.

A Facebook group called ‘LEAVE OUR CIDER ALONE!’ was set up within hours of the announcement and as of this morning 15000 people had signed up.

Another Facebook protest group called ‘Campaign to get The Wurzels to No1 in protest of Cider getting a 10% tax!’ has been set up and is campaigning to get the Wurzels ‘I Am A Cider Drinker’ [god help us!] to No 1 in protest at Alistair Darling’s budget announcement.

Cider and Scrumpy producers are outraged at the tax increase and are highlighting the fact that the cider making process is much longer than the beer making process and they are fearful of some of the smaller producers going out of business.

A newly planted orchard takes three years to produce apples that are fit for the cider making process.

Many people think that the Chancellor has increase the tax on cider by 10% to discourage binge drinking and young people drinking on the streets that often fuels anti social behaviour.

“Super-strength” ciders are to be re classed the same as made wine from September and subjected to an extra £2 per litre tax.

The Chancellor has been accused of stealing the Conservative plan to levy more tax on strong cider and beer to deter binge drinking by teenagers and to deter alcohol abuse.

Some of the cheapest ‘White Lightening’ type brands are on sale in Supermarkets and cheap booze outlets for around £6.19 for 8 cans that are 7.5%abv.

I think most average folk like a drink, I know I do and while I’ve never really been a cider drinker, I have on occasion tried the real cider that is produced down in Somerset and parts of Devon whilst on holiday and really enjoyed it.

The real concern is that this tax damages those small producers who are looking at producing quality ciders, often organic into a niche market that no way includes those who want to get off their faces on cheap mass produced cider.

The real question is why should those producers be disadvantaged by this tax.

If we really want to hit those who abuse alcohol and those who drink to fuel anti-social behaviour, wouldn’t it be better to force the supermarket to stop doing the BOGOF offers and those promotions that see teenagers queuing at the tills in large numbers?

Wouldn’t it be more sensible to raise the tax substantially on those beers and ciders that are over say 5.5%abv?

There were some decent proposals in the budget yesterday and it wasn’t as bad as some had predicted to this one tax may overshadow all the rest and could prove to be another own goal for the Labour Party on the run up to the General Election.

Graffiti draws in the crowds for youth project

Young people from Moorland Park Youth Centre will be showing off the results of a recent project to highlight alcohol abuse next week.

Walls at the community centre have been decorated with graffiti, painted by youngsters attending workshops, and will be unveiled next week, with the artists signing their names on their creation.

The project was based around highlighting alcohol abuse and raising awareness of the dangers of under age drinking, which is one of the issues in the area. The workshops were organised by Creative Arts North Staffs to develop artistic skills and their own art work for the final design.

Councillor Ian Mitchell, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said:

“This is a really great way for young people to learn about the danger of alcohol abuse and also to create something that will have a lasting legacy.

“It’s important that young people know that there are people there to support them if they are tempted to turn to alcohol, and that there are projects such as this that can give them skills and an outlet for what they learn.”