Disappointed councillor calls for law change on off-licences

International Food & Drink, 13 Boston Road, Kirton.
International Food & Drink, 13 Boston Road, Kirton.

A disappointed councillor has called on the Government to hand over powers for off-licences to be rejected after a fourth was passed in Kirton.

Boston Borough Council last week revealed it had backed down and granted a licence to International Food and Drink at 13 Boston Road.

The move came with councillors fearing they would lose a legal challenge after initially turning down an application in the face of big opposition from residents in Kirton.

Parish and borough coucncillor Alan Lee told The Standard that it is time the law was changed to give local residents more power over where they live.

Coun Lee said: “The government seems to want parish councils to be responsible for the parishes. If they want that then they have got to listen sometimes to what we want.”

Coun Lee is now on the licensing sub committee and will be calling on it to lobby for the extra powers to be able to say ‘no’. He says the problem is also felt in the rest of the borough and Boston town centre.

The plan was rejected over parking concerns and because it was said the applicant Nurettin Atilgan did not demonstrate a full understanding of the licensing laws when quizzed by the committee.

Coun Lee said people in Kirton also felt it simply was not needed. He said: “We, as a parish council, thought it was just one too many. We have got nine retailers of which four are now off-licences.

“The village has had a past history of anti-social behaviour which has been drink related.

“The police have worked very hard to get that to an acceptable level. We don’t want it to rear its head again.”

The borough council has imposed conditions on the licence – with the shop unable to sell booze after 9pm.

It will also have to provide a CCTV system approved by the police and operate a ‘Challenge 25’ system to check on the age of people purchasing drinks.

Coun Lee added: “We have got to live with it now. Only time will tell if it is the right decision.”

He also thanked the public for their help opposing the plan and said he had been contacted by people who were ‘disappointed’ by last week’s news.