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Labour’s team in Clapham are ‘extremely disappointed’ after their attempt to introduce an Early Morning Restriction Order was rejected by a cross-party committee at the Town Hall. The ‘EMRO’ would have limited the sale of alcohol by businesses near the junction of Wandsworth Road and North Street, which has been blighted by anti-social behavior.

The problem venues were granted late licenses when the Tories and Lib Dems ran the council before 2006, even though they are in residential areas. Despite having overwhelming support from the community, local councillors and Lambeth’s political leadership, the committee rejected its introduction, fearing that when the decision was challenged in court it would be rejected.

Cllr Christopher Wellbelove, who led the Labour team that worked with residents on the campaign, said “I am extremely disappointed by this decision and disagree with the committee entirely. Although we may have lost this battle, the campaign is not over. I’m determined to continue to call these venues to account for the disruption they cause to local people.”

“I’d like to thank everybody who has worked so hard on this, in particular the neighbours who came to all the meetings and wrote in to support the EMRO. I share their disappointment and I shall continue to challenge council officers to build the evidence for further action in the future if there is no improvement.”

During the hearing the venues finally admitted, after years of denial, that there is a problem. They pledged to work with their neighbours but Labour councillors commit to remaining vigilant to make sure the businesses keep to their promises.

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