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Putting the lid on liquor outlet numbers attracts scant interest

By   /  May 3, 2017  /  Comments Off on Putting the lid on liquor outlet numbers attracts scant interest

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MIL OSI – Source: Hutt City

Headline: Putting the lid on liquor outlet numbers attracts scant interest

This contrasts sharply when more than 270 submissions were made on establishing a Local Alcohol Policy for Lower Hutt in 2013, requiring two days of hearings for submitters to be heard by Council.

Last month, Council sought residents’ input on proposed changes to its draft Local Alcohol Policy, which would stop additional off-licences being opened in Stokes Valley, Naenae, Avalon, Taita, Wainuiomata and Lower Hutt CBD. These are areas identified by Police, Regional Public Health and Council as especially vulnerable to alcohol-related harm, such as violence and other crime, injuries and illness. This proposed amendment was in response to community concerns about a lack of control of the number of off-licences in certain areas of the city.

Off-licences are defined as outlets where alcohol can be purchased and taken away. They include supermarkets, grocery stores, liquor shops, and specialist outlets such as wine shops.

Because alcohol and its negative consequences have attracted a great deal of public interest and concern in the past, Council is extending the deadline for submissions until 5pm 17 May.

Submitters are asked to indicate whether they support Council’s proposed changes to the draft policy and provide anecdotal evidence of alcohol-related harm in their communities.

Cr Margaret Cousins, Chairperson of the Policy and Regulatory Committee, says: “We don’t expect this to be scientific evidence, but simply examples of what people have experienced and observed in their communities.

“Residents have experiences and opinions on the issue and we want to hear them.

“The low response to last month’s call for submissions may be because the issue was overshadowed by Council’s proposed Annual Plan and the busy school holiday period.”

Submissions can be made online here, by email to submissions@huttcity.govt.nz or by freepost to Hutt City Council, Freepost 100039, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040. Submissions close at 5pm, 17 May.

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