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Alcohol ban at council homes

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 03 July 2010

AN alcohol ban has been slapped on a tenants and residents association which had planned to serve wine at a series of events on Great Yarmouth Borough Council property.

AN alcohol ban has been slapped on a tenants and residents association which had planned to serve wine at a series of events on Great Yarmouth Borough Council property.

The Rural North Tenants and Residents Association (RNTRA) was planning to hold the Wine and Whinge events to get feedback on services offered by the borough council's community housing department, but instead the only “whinging” appears to be being done by the council.

Peter Kirkpatrick, the RNTRA's chairman, said the association's members were going to give away the wine to visitors, rather than sell it, and would not have needed a licence, but the council had not told him why alcohol had been banned.

Eleven Wine and Whinge events had been planned at council properties in villages in the north of the borough, including Hemsby and Winterton, five of which had been completed before the council imposed the alcohol ban.

The RNTRA may now have to rename the events Coffee and a Chat or Tea and a Talk and Mr Kirkpatrick may seek compensation after the association spent £500 on advertising the event as Wine and Whinge, as well as a gazebo and banner.

“The implications from the council's ban will be far ranging and I believe have not been thought through properly.

“Sheltered housing complexes who offer a meal service often have residents who are celebrating a birthday and bring along a bottle of wine or two to share with their fellow diners. The current ban will mean this will have to stop.

“Any council building that holds a raffle or coffee morning with alcohol as a prize may also fall within the ban,” Mr Kirkpatrick said.

He added the ban could have a major effect on larger events such as the Mad Mag day in Gorleston which would have to be alcohol- free.

Denis Gilbert, director of community housing at the borough council, said the council had decided to ban alcohol at all its properties following a legal case in which a company was sued after one of its employees was involved in a drink driving case after drinking on its premises.

He said: “We don't go over the top with health and safety issues but because we felt it would not be appropriate to lay on alcohol at staff events and we decided it would not be appropriate to lay on alcohol at public events. We thought it would be inappropriate to for wine to be served at events linked to the council and held on council property.”

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