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Town centre bars and clubs in Havering may have to pay towards the cost of late night policing.

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That is one of several plans included in the council’s new draft licensing strategy - which deals largely with alcohol sales in the borough.

The local authority has launched a three-month consultation for residents and traders to have their say on the strategy.

Havering Council says that the strategy aims to: reduce alcohol consumption in Havering’s town centres, reduce alcohol-related violent crime in Romford, promote responsible drinking, tackle binge drinking, create a balance between business and residential communities, and make them more family-centric.

New powers granted to councils by the government come into effect in October, and could see the police levy charged on Havering clubs and pubs which are open after midnight.

The number of licensed premises in the borough has increased from 471 in March 2007, to 568 in March of this year.

Havering Police have requested that the council’s ‘saturation policy’ be continued into the new licensing strategy.

In January 2011 the policy was introduced, and meant that it was the council’s plan to reject applications for any new licensed premises in the areas until at least January 2014.

Despite this, Tesco successfully argued their case to be able to gain a license for its new store in South Street, Romford, in April this year.

Havering Council’s cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Geoff Starns, said: “We are proud of the progress we have made in making the borough a safer place and much of that is due to curbing alcohol sales and anti-social behaviour.

“We want to encourage responsible retailing, working with traders to make sure they understand the role they play.”

He added: “If you have a view or opinion on alcohol, its sale and its effects then we want to hear from you.

“Please take five minutes to write to or email us and help us make the borough a pleasant place for all to enjoy.”

To take part in the consultation visit: www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/Licenceentertainment.aspx.

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