Live comedy, music and poetry plan to tackle Bolton's town centre booze culture

The Bolton News: BOOZE: Police dealing with the effects of alcohol in the town centre at night BOOZE: Police dealing with the effects of alcohol in the town centre at night

COMEDY nights and live music and poetry will be used to tackle Bolton’s alcohol problems.

Bolton Council’s new two-year alcohol strategy will see a range of measures put in place to try to combat the health and crime problems which result from the town centre’s drinking culture.

According to the strategy, Bolton has 700 licensed premises, with the food and drink industry employing 2.5 per cent of the borough’s workforce.

But it also said alcohol makes a “substantial contribution” to poor health, and is a “major factor” in violence, crime and disorder.

The report said the town centre’s offer was currently based primarily on alcohol.

To tackle this, it calls for a “diversified midweek programme of live music, poetry and comedy” which will offer “something for all sections of the community in a safe environment”.

The plan is part of the council's strategy to improve Bolton town centre, and follows an announcement earlier this week that town hall bosses want to turn Newport Street into a "European-style boulevard".

Steve Hoyle, owner of the Brass Cat pub in Churchgate, said: “I went out recently and it was very quiet. Bars need to do something to attract people in rather than just lowering the price of drinks. I’ve been doing this kind of thing for a while, with comedy nights and bands.”

Richard Greenwood, who runs Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Churchgate, added: “This is the only way forward for the night time economy full-stop.

“People will only go out if you can offer them something they can’t get at home, so things like live music rather than just cheap drinks.

Other measures in the strategy include introducing an alcohol awareness scheme in secondary schools, education programmes as an alternative to handing out fines, and an initiative to work with employers to address the problems of alcohol with workers.

The report said the average man in the borough has his life expectancy cut by 13 months due to the health problems caused by drink, higher than the national average of nine.

The average Bolton woman loses six months, slightly higher than the national average.

The report said: “This strategy responds to the need to rebalance our night time economy and to narrow the inequalities of life expectancy, poor health and crime in Bolton of which alcohol is a significant contributor.

“By working with licensees and others to diversify our early evening offer, we anticipate that this will reduce the reliance on alcohol related income later in the evening.

“It will also enable our town centre to be a more inviting destination for all sections of the community.”

Ch Supt David Hull said only 15 per cent of alcohol-related violence in Bolton occurred in the town centre.

He added: “This is a strategy with three very clear strands, regeneration, health prevention and enforcement and licensing.”

Cllr Linda Thomas, executive cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Talking to a lot of our children’s social workers, a lot of cases will relate to alcohol and domestic abuse.”

Conservative leader David Greenhalgh — who also sits on the borough’s licensing committee — said he fully supported the strategy but called for a set of best practice conditions for licensed premises to be drawn up.

Comments (10)

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7:56am Thu 15 Aug 13

thomas ryder says...

Could one of the reasons that people dont go in town midweek is because they cant afford it. If ones,s not skint one forgets other people may be....
Could one of the reasons that people dont go in town midweek is because they cant afford it. If ones,s not skint one forgets other people may be.... thomas ryder

8:26am Thu 15 Aug 13

Jim271 says...

Many years ago the only places you could get booze were pubs or off licences. Even supermarkets used to shut the booze section at 3 in the afternoon.

There were few kids drinking on the streets because the off licences knew if they sold booze they would lose the licence.

Now every corner shop sells booze and sells it to anyone because if they don't another shop will,

When alcopops came in around 1995, people warned it would encourage young people to drink, the industry came up with the usual evidence. We now have 25 year old registered alcoholics.

Give up drinking and keep your money from the taxman, or brew your own.
Many years ago the only places you could get booze were pubs or off licences. Even supermarkets used to shut the booze section at 3 in the afternoon. There were few kids drinking on the streets because the off licences knew if they sold booze they would lose the licence. Now every corner shop sells booze and sells it to anyone because if they don't another shop will, When alcopops came in around 1995, people warned it would encourage young people to drink, the industry came up with the usual evidence. We now have 25 year old registered alcoholics. Give up drinking and keep your money from the taxman, or brew your own. Jim271

8:29am Thu 15 Aug 13

Hulton Park says...

Comedy nights? Is the Council Cabinet planning to meet in public now?
Comedy nights? Is the Council Cabinet planning to meet in public now? Hulton Park

8:54am Thu 15 Aug 13

Bolton Lad 85 says...

Bolton town centre of an evening is designed for drinking. This however is equivalent, to so called "European style cities" like Manchester. As someone who visits town infrequently on a Friday and Sat evening, Bolton is not that bad. The atmosphere overall is fairly friendly and trouble is infrequent. Manchester often feels much more hostile in parts eg Deansgate Locks. This being said I can understand this would not be the perception of an older crowd 50+.

If we are to bring in comedy nights or other such activities we need to designate a part of town to this. The nigh time economy is holding Bolton town centre up. If well policed a string of bars with young people drinking is not inherently a bad thing. Door staff in the last 3 years have been stricter than at any time. I think Bolton is a decent night out if you want that kind of thing. However an ability to bring in the generally wealthier groups of age 35+ will only assist the town centre.

And this means new options. Comedy nights is a start but bear in mind are often heavy drinking affairs and often attract groups. Maybe an attempt at a cultural district around the Octagon may help. I also think the Albert Hall is a big waste. Blackburn St George Hall attracts a lot of big names particularly in Stand up. Not sure why Bolton can’t do the same. Also FREE PARKING is a must.
Bolton town centre of an evening is designed for drinking. This however is equivalent, to so called "European style cities" like Manchester. As someone who visits town infrequently on a Friday and Sat evening, Bolton is not that bad. The atmosphere overall is fairly friendly and trouble is infrequent. Manchester often feels much more hostile in parts eg Deansgate Locks. This being said I can understand this would not be the perception of an older crowd 50+. If we are to bring in comedy nights or other such activities we need to designate a part of town to this. The nigh time economy is holding Bolton town centre up. If well policed a string of bars with young people drinking is not inherently a bad thing. Door staff in the last 3 years have been stricter than at any time. I think Bolton is a decent night out if you want that kind of thing. However an ability to bring in the generally wealthier groups of age 35+ will only assist the town centre. And this means new options. Comedy nights is a start but bear in mind are often heavy drinking affairs and often attract groups. Maybe an attempt at a cultural district around the Octagon may help. I also think the Albert Hall is a big waste. Blackburn St George Hall attracts a lot of big names particularly in Stand up. Not sure why Bolton can’t do the same. Also FREE PARKING is a must. Bolton Lad 85

9:30am Thu 15 Aug 13

atlas123 says...

Why have police started wearing their undergarments on the outside, makes them look like they are trussed up ready for the oven!
Why have police started wearing their undergarments on the outside, makes them look like they are trussed up ready for the oven! atlas123

11:47am Thu 15 Aug 13

Sirrius7 says...

If you want a peaceful, friendly atmosphere on a night out, go to Bury. They don`t need Comedy nights,poetry readings and music: Bury has the great good fortune to have a decent, hard working Council who have the best interests of Bury and its` citizens at heart. Unlike our own Council.
If you want a peaceful, friendly atmosphere on a night out, go to Bury. They don`t need Comedy nights,poetry readings and music: Bury has the great good fortune to have a decent, hard working Council who have the best interests of Bury and its` citizens at heart. Unlike our own Council. Sirrius7

3:55pm Thu 15 Aug 13

soulstew1 says...

OK so you put on a comedy evening or a live band or a poetry night and everything is wonderful. No fighting , no need for ambulances turning up every five minutes taking someone to A&E.....wouldn't it be wonderful?!
Oh hang on! Surely I've been frequenting places such as these for the last 30 years and in Bolton town centre too! In the past we've had great venues such as Oscars, The Crown and Cushion, Hawthorns etc and in recent years The Man and Scythe and the wonderful Dog and Partridge. The Dog and Partridge include a monthly comedy evening which brings a host of new comedians in from other localities on a regular basis. Not only this but regular band nights and acoustic sessions , they even recently staged a play in the snug!
The main problem we have is that the sort of folk who cause all the mayhem are the type that go out looking for trouble. Their evening isn't complete without a fight at the end of the night.
These are not the type of people who are going to be the slightest bit interested in attending any 'cultural happening' so why even bother?
There are only four pubs I will venture into in the town centre nowadays those being the aforementioned Dog and Partridge, The Man and Scythe, Barristers and The Brass Cat. I'd like to pop up to the Alma or the Blind Tiger maybe every once in a while but it would mean dodging fists and bottles on Bradshawgate. Shame.
OK so you put on a comedy evening or a live band or a poetry night and everything is wonderful. No fighting , no need for ambulances turning up every five minutes taking someone to A&E.....wouldn't it be wonderful?! Oh hang on! Surely I've been frequenting places such as these for the last 30 years and in Bolton town centre too! In the past we've had great venues such as Oscars, The Crown and Cushion, Hawthorns etc and in recent years The Man and Scythe and the wonderful Dog and Partridge. The Dog and Partridge include a monthly comedy evening which brings a host of new comedians in from other localities on a regular basis. Not only this but regular band nights and acoustic sessions , they even recently staged a play in the snug! The main problem we have is that the sort of folk who cause all the mayhem are the type that go out looking for trouble. Their evening isn't complete without a fight at the end of the night. These are not the type of people who are going to be the slightest bit interested in attending any 'cultural happening' so why even bother? There are only four pubs I will venture into in the town centre nowadays those being the aforementioned Dog and Partridge, The Man and Scythe, Barristers and The Brass Cat. I'd like to pop up to the Alma or the Blind Tiger maybe every once in a while but it would mean dodging fists and bottles on Bradshawgate. Shame. soulstew1

8:09pm Thu 15 Aug 13

serendipity2 says...

Council in crisis over the town center, they never listened to the oublic until it was too late.
For one I won't step foot in the place Bury or Manchester for myself vote with your feet .
City status what a joke Bolton has sh ity staus............. comedy leave that to the council executives....
Council in crisis over the town center, they never listened to the oublic until it was too late. For one I won't step foot in the place Bury or Manchester for myself vote with your feet . City status what a joke Bolton has sh ity staus............. comedy leave that to the council executives.... serendipity2

8:18pm Thu 15 Aug 13

serendipity2 says...

Bolton Lad 85 wrote:
Bolton town centre of an evening is designed for drinking. This however is equivalent, to so called "European style cities" like Manchester. As someone who visits town infrequently on a Friday and Sat evening, Bolton is not that bad. The atmosphere overall is fairly friendly and trouble is infrequent. Manchester often feels much more hostile in parts eg Deansgate Locks. This being said I can understand this would not be the perception of an older crowd 50+.

If we are to bring in comedy nights or other such activities we need to designate a part of town to this. The nigh time economy is holding Bolton town centre up. If well policed a string of bars with young people drinking is not inherently a bad thing. Door staff in the last 3 years have been stricter than at any time. I think Bolton is a decent night out if you want that kind of thing. However an ability to bring in the generally wealthier groups of age 35+ will only assist the town centre.

And this means new options. Comedy nights is a start but bear in mind are often heavy drinking affairs and often attract groups. Maybe an attempt at a cultural district around the Octagon may help. I also think the Albert Hall is a big waste. Blackburn St George Hall attracts a lot of big names particularly in Stand up. Not sure why Bolton can’t do the same. Also FREE PARKING is a must.
Look at the gateways into Bradshawgate Wbank street and Manchester road,,,
[quote][p][bold]Bolton Lad 85[/bold] wrote: Bolton town centre of an evening is designed for drinking. This however is equivalent, to so called "European style cities" like Manchester. As someone who visits town infrequently on a Friday and Sat evening, Bolton is not that bad. The atmosphere overall is fairly friendly and trouble is infrequent. Manchester often feels much more hostile in parts eg Deansgate Locks. This being said I can understand this would not be the perception of an older crowd 50+. If we are to bring in comedy nights or other such activities we need to designate a part of town to this. The nigh time economy is holding Bolton town centre up. If well policed a string of bars with young people drinking is not inherently a bad thing. Door staff in the last 3 years have been stricter than at any time. I think Bolton is a decent night out if you want that kind of thing. However an ability to bring in the generally wealthier groups of age 35+ will only assist the town centre. And this means new options. Comedy nights is a start but bear in mind are often heavy drinking affairs and often attract groups. Maybe an attempt at a cultural district around the Octagon may help. I also think the Albert Hall is a big waste. Blackburn St George Hall attracts a lot of big names particularly in Stand up. Not sure why Bolton can’t do the same. Also FREE PARKING is a must.[/p][/quote]Look at the gateways into Bradshawgate Wbank street and Manchester road,,, serendipity2

9:46pm Thu 15 Aug 13

mr.mark.c says...

Sirrius7 wrote:
If you want a peaceful, friendly atmosphere on a night out, go to Bury. They don`t need Comedy nights,poetry readings and music: Bury has the great good fortune to have a decent, hard working Council who have the best interests of Bury and its` citizens at heart. Unlike our own Council.
I got stabbed in the chest and my hand broken with a baseball bat in Bury on a night out, all we was doing was walking down a street when we was jumped by a group of Asians.
Bury
Safe
Don't think so
PS. I was sober as I was driving.
[quote][p][bold]Sirrius7[/bold] wrote: If you want a peaceful, friendly atmosphere on a night out, go to Bury. They don`t need Comedy nights,poetry readings and music: Bury has the great good fortune to have a decent, hard working Council who have the best interests of Bury and its` citizens at heart. Unlike our own Council.[/p][/quote]I got stabbed in the chest and my hand broken with a baseball bat in Bury on a night out, all we was doing was walking down a street when we was jumped by a group of Asians. Bury Safe Don't think so PS. I was sober as I was driving. mr.mark.c

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