By Paulette Myrie
Edinburgh has enough bars, clubs and off-licenses, at least according to Edinburgh City Council.
There are too many businesses licensed to sell alcohol in many central parts of the city the Council has concluded.
The Licensing Board has been instructed to block the opening of any new licensing premises in the city centre.
Councillor Norman Work welcomed the city’s decision saying: “By extending the areas of over provision we have demonstrated our commitment to addressing alcohol-related crime and health problems.
“This will help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public, while also maintaining Edinburgh’s entertainment scene.”
The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) criticised the new measures.
SBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said: “The policy of over provision is flawed. There is no evidence that it achieves a reduction in alcohol-related harm.”
Police Scotland backed the Council’s decision and see it as a way to reducing alcohol-related crime.
Chief superintendent Gareth Blair said, “A large number of crimes we investigate, particularly public space offences, have alcohol as a contributing factor.”
Cowgate, the Grassmarket, the Old Town, Princes Street, Leith Street, Tollcross, Dean Village, the West End, Haymarket, Southside, Cannongate and Dumbiedykes have all been categorised as areas of overprovision.