Richard Oglethorpe and I went along today to the Council's licensing committee to represent local people.
We planned to speak against an application to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the petrol station on the bit of St Mary's Road where it starts to go into the village. This is the one by ASDA and also reasonably near the Garston Adventure Playground.
We had petitions signed by local residents wanting us to object for a range of reasons, including potential nuisance and likelihood of anti social behaviour.
Well I had promised to update on the decision today but we actually don't have one.
The committee decided to postpone the discussion and decision because it wanted a bit more information from the company applying (called Gat Oil). There is a licensing law issue about when a petrol station is not a petrol station (in other words the balance between the sale of petrol and the sale of other things in the shop). The company had provided a three months sales graph but the committee felt they needed a longer time frame to look at.
The issue here is that the company has to show that the place is in effect a convenience store based on sales ratios to get anywhere with the application. If that is done, then there are still all the objections to go through. (This is governed by law and apologies if it sounds vague - I am not a licensing lawyer!)
So basically Richard and I kept our powder dry and will go again on 8th October to speak up for local residents (no point in giving away all our best points!)
Richard and I were the only politicians there to represent the people in Garston. And as the cut off date for objections has now gone it is impossible for others to suddenly decide this is important.
I have to say that given there are potentially six councillors for that patch (the petrol station being right by a ward boundary) the lack of interest shown by five of them is not impressive.
Anyway, I will update again when I have more information.