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Praise for super-strength alcohol ban as shoppers ‘reclaim’ Ilford town centre

PUBLISHED: 07:01 04 December 2014

Cllr Ross Hatfull, cabinet member for community safety and enforcement

Cllr Ross Hatfull, cabinet member for community safety and enforcement

Archant

Shoppers have “reclaimed” Ilford town centre in the wake of a push to tackle street drunks.

Business owners praised a ban on selling super-strength alcohol following a “dramatic” fall in the number of street drinkers in the area.

Cllr Ross Hatfull, cabinet member for public protection, said the crackdown had helped reduce the problem since its launch in August.

He said numbers had decreased by around two-thirds to “less than 10”, but vowed to tackle “more entrenched street drinkers”.

“There are still a few there but they are less prominent and in fewer numbers,” he added.

Cllr Hatfull said public health and voluntary agencies were working to help get them off the street.

Rai Holdstock, manager of Bodgers in Ilford High Road and chairman of Ilford Business Improvement District (BID), said customers had “reclaimed the town”.

“Shoppers do not feel so threatened,” he said.

“I don’t think we are over the hill yet, but we’ve had positive feedback.”

John Clifton, corps manager at the Salvation Army, said trying to make strong beer and cider harder to get hold of was a “great approach”.


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