Councillors scrap move to limit off-licences in Fife towns

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Fife councillors have stepped back from placing limits on the number of off licences in several towns.

Plans to bring in restrictions in Kirkcaldy, Cowdenbeath and Levemmouth were halted at a meeting this week.

At the Licensing Board on Tuesday, councillors decided that  the move was not necessary.

While they agreed there was enough information to show a correlation between the high levels of deprivation in those areas and alcohol related health issues, they didn’t believe that limiting off licences was the correct step to take.

Cllr Alistair Cameron, (Lab) Kirkcaldy Central, said: “We can’t get a true picture of sales in these areas because a lot of people buy alcohol online.

“And those sales are UK government regulations so we could restrict it in businesses here, but they would just go else where.

“We’re not getting a true picture.”

Cllr Andy Heer, (Con), Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, agreed adding: “With online sales, we could come out with a policy but them we have Amazon down the road who can sell alcohol.”

Convener of the board, Carol Lindsay, SNP for Kirkcaldy North, said that she didn’t believe a ban was the right action to be take.

She said: : “There has been a decline in young people drinking and with a review in statistics coming for the minimum price increase, I think we should wait.

“I am confident that I don’t believe there is an over provision.”

Cllr Cameron said that campaigns that police had been working on, such as You’re Asking For It, had been making a positive impact on reducing young people drinking and that they should wait to see their outcomes before considering an enforcement policy.