Calls for alcohol ban on Southsea Common

LITTER Piles of rubbish left on Southsea Common, Southsea.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (121845-476)
LITTER Piles of rubbish left on Southsea Common, Southsea. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (121845-476)
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THE manager of a seafront restaurant has called for alcohol to be banned on Southsea Common.

Simon Reed runs Mozzarella Joes, on Clarence Parade, Southsea, and is also the chairman of a seafront traders association.

He said a move to prevent members of the public drinking on and around the common might sound drastic, but would improve the seafront for families and tourists.

His comments follow numerous complaints that piles of rubbish were left scattered across the area after last weekend’s hot weather.

He said: ‘It was a disgrace the state the common was left in. The council can take steps but they’re not enough.

‘I know people would complain bitterly if alcohol was banned, but the seafront should be a family place, not somewhere for young people to get drunk.

‘The problem isn’t the amount of people, it’s the way they behave.

‘You can put as many bins in as you want, people are still not going to use them if they are slaughtered.’

But the leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said he wasn’t in favour of ‘restricting people’s freedoms’.

‘How on earth would you police that kind of ban?’ he said. ‘Somebody having a glass of wine responsibly is not a problem, somebody behaving badly is a problem and we already have powers to deal with that.’

Tory spokesman for the environment, Cllr Ken Ellcome, said: ‘I think it would be difficult to enforce because the common is a big place.

‘And it is the age old story, you risk punishing the vast majority for the actions of the few.’

But local resident Jackie Roberts, 57, of St Helen’s Parade, said other solutions hadn’t worked.

‘If we want a beautiful, safe, welcoming seafront we have to take drastic measures,’ she said. ‘Because at the moment it is in danger of going to ruin.’