On whose behalf does Croydon Council operate? Residents or big business?
Tesco had placed an application for an alcohol licence for their soon-to-open Express store in the Swan & Sugarloaf at South Croydon. Nothing unusual about that.
What was unusual was that the country’s biggest supermarket chain requested a licence to sell booze from 6am every day.
Local residents were the only people present to put forward objections. Not a single one of the nine Tory councillors from the affected wards – Croham, Fairfield and Waddon – bothered to attend to support their constituents.
With a constant problem with alcoholics hanging around the streets, many of whom are housed in a couple of nearby halfway house-type hostels, residents fear that having a Tesco flogging cheap booze from 6am will simply make the problem worse.
That was not good enough for the licensing panel, which comprised one Labour and two Conservative councillors: Carole Bonner, Terry Lenton and Crystal Palace’s finest steward, the ever-charming Tony Pearson
“What irresponsible behaviour by the council and Tesco,” one of the objectors who attended the meeting told Inside Croydon.
“No other shop down there can sell alcohol before 8am. That is not good, but who apart from our local addicts is going to want to buy alcohol at 6am?
“The Tesco lawyer just rambled on about under-age drinking. But that isn’t the issue. He needn’t have bothered, because our council didn’t even try to limit the hours to after 8am.”
Croydon Council’s motto: “Proud to Serve… booze from 6am”.
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