Lanark Lanimer drink ban is to go ahead

Lanimer Day...terrific for the children, but reports of drink-fuelled incidents were increasing. (''Pic by Roberto Cavieres)
Lanimer Day...terrific for the children, but reports of drink-fuelled incidents were increasing. (''Pic by Roberto Cavieres)

THE Scottish Government has ruled that there WILL be a ban on the traditional street drinking on Lanimer Day from this year’s June 11 celebrations onwards.

The decision, made at the request of the police and South Lanarkshire Council, was, however, greeted with dismay by some, predicting that the resulting extra crowding inside the town’s surviving pubs would only lead to more drink-fuelled trouble, not less.

The ruling also goes in the face of a public consultation last year in which a modest majority of Lanarkians voted to keep the exemption.

The news of the scrapping of the special by-law exemption which has, for many years, allowed on-street drinking on Lanimer Days, was confirmed in a Scottish Government letter to one of the main objectors to the change, Lanark publican Ian Dick, proprietor of the Horse and Jockey and Wallace Cave.

In a detailed letter to him, the Government’s Justice Directorate Licensing Policy Officer Ronnie Fraser set out the case for his objections being rejected.

He first stated that the Government HAD considered the objections to the street drinking ban, including the loss of an old Lanimer tradition.

However, he added: “We note that, while the 2014 consultation found a slight majority in favour of retaining the exemption, a majority of respondents nonetheless agreed that there was a problem with anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol.

“It was also noted that the percentage of respondents who stated they perceived that alcohol-related violence and disorder and anti-social behaviour on Lanimer Day was a problem had risen from 52 per cent in a 2008 survey to 66 per cent in the more recent, 2014, survey.”

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette.