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UK: council plans stricter controls on glass at public events

City councillors in Nelson (Lancashire, north west England) are looking to introduce restrictions on the sale of alcoholic drinks in glass containers at public events such as open air concerts. Organi…

City councillors in Nelson (Lancashire, north west England) are looking to introduce restrictions on the sale of alcoholic drinks in glass containers at public events such as open air concerts. Organisers of events in the city may soon have to prove to the council why they should be allowed to sell alcohol in glass containers. Councillors at an environment and planning committee meeting on 10 February 2004 adopted the policy to make it more difficult for event organisers to use glass. It is the first time the council has set rules on glass when granting Special Liquor Licences for events. The change in policy results from concerns about the risk to people and the environment from glass containers in public open spaces. Council planning and consents divisional manager Rod Witte ruled out a complete ban on glass at events in public places. “I did consider just a blanket ban on them, allowing some special circumstances, but every event is different and to try and justify those circumstances when we allow glass to be used and when we don“t, you get into a dangerous area about discriminating against various event organisers and the type of clientele that might be there,” Mr Witte said. The council“s liquor licensing inspectors would evaluate whether or not to allow the use of glass and, if they permitted it for any events, they would have to report the decision to the council“s applications committee. Event organisers could also go to the committee to appeal a ban on the use of glass. “The preference is for no glass. They have to show to us why they need glass and what policies they have in place to minimise the harm it can cause,” Mr Witte said. The council issues up to 10 special licences a year for events in public places, where alcohol is either sold or provided. The policy goes out for public consultation in April 2004.

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