New shop’s booze plan sparks concern

The site where the new Extra Food and Booze shop will be
The site where the new Extra Food and Booze shop will be

Councillors have been asked to consider anti-social behaviour issues when determining an application for a new booze licence for a Wigan shop.

A bid for a drinks licence has been submitted to the town hall for Extra Food and Booze on Warrington Road in Ashton town centre.

Ashton has a history of anti-social behaviour relating to youths congregating in large numbers, very often seeking alcohol

Michael Moulding

The applicant, Mohamad Ali, has requested permission to sell booze at the new convenience store between 8am and 11pm throughout the week.

The matter will be decided by the council’s licensing committee this week and members have been urged to remember the town’s recent history of nuisance behaviour.

Community activist and Ashton resident Michael Moulding has started a petition opposing the licence and has written to the council asking for it to be refused.

It reads: “This licensed premises is not required in our community.

“This potential consequences of a mismanaged premises will merely result in groups of youths congregating outside.”

It adds: “For many years Ashton has a history of anti-social behaviour relating to youths congregating in large numbers, very often seeking alcohol, successfully.”

Council documents reveal Mr Ali had initially applied for permission to start selling alcohol from 6am - reflecting the opening time of the shop - but this was amended to 8am following discussions with Greater Manchester Police.

If the booze licence is granted, the shop keepers will be expected to keep an incident book to record any outbreaks of unruly behaviour and will be provided with a radio link to keep in contact with the council’s central watch CCTV team.

Shop told to help battle against yobs

Outbreaks of anti-social behaviour have blighted the Ashton and Bryn community in recent years with flashpoints often centred around the town centre as well as other locations such as Jubilee Park. Residents voicing concerns about ASB prompted the council to install new CCTV cameras in the park which have proved to have been an effective deterrent.

However, fears remain that youth gangs in the area - particularly prominent during the summer months - remain a threat to public order.

Councillors will determine whether to grant or refuse the application for a licence although the applicant can appeal a rejection by taking the case to the magistrates’ court.

The committee takes place at the town hall on Thursday February 23 at 10am.