Wednesday, 30th May 2012
New Bye-Laws will help curb public drinking - Cummins
Fine Gael Waterford City Councillor John Cummins (pictured), has welcomed the initiation of new bye-laws on the consumption alcohol in public places at a special meeting of Waterford City Council last Thursday. The Waterford City Council (Regulation and Control of the Use, Consumption & Possession of Intoxicating Substances in Public Places) Bye-Laws 2012 will now go on public display for a number of weeks and come back to the July Council meeting for adoption.
Cllr. Cummins who has been quite critical of those who consume alcohol in public places said the new bye-laws will help curb the scourge of public drinking and the associated problems that it causes. “The draft bye-laws introduces a fixed payment notice of €75 for those found to breach the new bye-laws. Measures such as this have been introduced in other local authority areas and have proven to be successful when applied strictly by the Gardai”.
Cllr. Cummins added, “This is something which I have been working on with Conor Doyle, WIT Students Union President, An Garda Siochana and Waterford City Council and I hope that it will prove useful not only in preventing drinking in public areas in the City Centre but also within our estates. I regularly get contacted by residents in my constituency, particularly in the summer about large groups consuming alcohol on green areas. The new bye-laws will enable the Gardai to impose penalty notices on groups of individuals when intoxicating substances are found”.
Item 3 of the draft bye laws state 'where a group of two or more persons are congregated together in a public place within the functional Area and an intoxicating substance/s is found in their close vicinity, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that each member of that group of persons is in possession of that intoxicating substance'. There is also a clause in the bye-laws which enables the City Manger in consultation with the Gardai to relax the bye-laws in whole or in part on the occasion of major civic celebrations, major sporting events and special community events.
Cllr. Cummins stated “It is not the intention of Waterford City Council to prevent locals and tourists alike from having some sociable drinks in public areas during major events and festivals such as the Tall Ships, Spraoi etc., therefore I believe the clause to allow the relaxation of the new bye-laws is fully warranted”.
Cllr. Cummins concluded by saying “We hope the new bye-laws will be fully operational by mid August, prior to the WIT students' return in September and I believe it will go a long way to curbing some of the problems which Gardai have faced in tackling incidences of public drinking by students in places such as Templars Hall among others”.
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