Scottish Borders public alcohol ban by-law process starts again

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A council is to carry out fresh consultation over proposed by-laws banning the consumption of alcohol in public places.

Scottish Borders Council first resolved to introduce them back in 2007.

The proposals involve setting up zones where people could be fined for public drinking in the town centres of Hawick, Galashiels, Coldingham, Jedburgh, Eyemouth and Newtown St Boswells.

Consultation was last carried out in 2013/14 but will now be repeated.

People found drinking within the town centre areas could be fined up to £500, but the by-laws would not apply on common riding days and on Hogmanay.

Councillors were told NHS Borders and Police Scotland continued to support the introduction of the legislation.

Withdrawn support

The previous consultation was also in favour of the plans.

However, the majority of councillors felt that because the by-laws were first proposed in 2014, the public consultation carried out around that period was now out of date.

In particular, community councils which previously supported the proposals, such as Jedburgh Community Council and Coldingham Community Council, have now withdrawn their support.

A move to drop the by-laws entirely was voted down by councillors.

They opted instead for more research into the potential benefits and disadvantages and for further public consultation.

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