Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good Time to Call Time

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good Time to Call Time

Article excerpt

Newcastle City Council is calling time on happy hours and the move is to be welcomed.

No-one wants to be a killjoy, but the clampdown is well overdue, given the real cost of these cut-price drinks gimmicks ( soaring health costs, increased violence, extra policing costs and anti-social behaviour. Many publicans will claim that they are in a competitive business and the licensing authorities have no right to interfere.

Indeed, one publican yesterday was making the point that local councils wouldn't dream of interfering in Marks and Spencer's pricing policies.

And he is right ( but only if you are prepared to overlook the simple fact that keenly priced clothes and household products do not turn large areas of our towns and cities into no-go areas for many people.

But that is what "competition" in the drinks trade has done to towns and cities all over the country in recent years.

A drinking culture has been happily serviced ( if not actively encouraged ( and local authorities are now starting to say enough is enough. …

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