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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From: 10 Downing Street...

From: 10 Downing Street
Date: 17 Jun 2008 11:10
Subject: Government response to petition 'SaveOurSoho'
To: e-petition signatories

You recently signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to "resist the ban on outside drinking and maintain the liberal culture of Soho." A formal response to the petition will be sent to you, and posted online, once the petition has closed. In the meantime, you may wish to know that Westminster Council has released a statement on the subject of the petition as follows:

Contrary to internet rumours, Westminster has no plans to ban outside drinking in Soho or in the city as a whole. This is an inaccurate and misleading rumour. Indeed, the council is actively trying to promote responsible alfresco-style dining and drinking in certain parts of the city by creating calm oases away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets. We are, however, reviewing the licence for The Endurance pub in Berwick Street following a long history of complaints from nearby residents about noise from drinkers outside the premises. The Council has previously tried to work with this pub to resolve this problem and we regret that this review is now necessary. The review by the council's licensing committee is due to take place on June 26, 2008. We want everyone to be able to come to Westminster and have a good time, but we need to ensure that the interests of residents are protected and licensees must work with us to this end.

Petition information - http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/SaveOurSoho/
[Thanks Mark]


  1. Anonymous11:35 am

    So don't believe everything you read on the internet - I was going to sign your petition but thought I would check out its veracity first....and guess what...there was NO reports of this intention on Westminster Council's press releases or anywhere else. Shows how gullible and reactionary people can be, does it not??

  2. Of course it could just be that Westminster back-tracked...

    Save Our Soho, Save Our Shoreditch, Save Our Sausages say I!

  3. Anonymous3:53 pm

    Backtrack...on what exactly? There was NOTHING at all published ANYWHERE I could find that suggested this was EVER policy of any kind - except from those promoting the "petition". Conspiracy theorists will believe anything they want of course...so I suppose its possible...but highly unlikely, especially given that the people behind the mis-informed petition were the ones under the microscope themselves for licence breaches! (Funny that - what better way to kick up a fuss then to spread a few lies and get people panicked?) What council in their right mind would want to ban outdoor drinking in the most popular area in the country and one of the world's top cities and tourist destinations?? I mean, think about it.... as if!

  4. Anonymous11:55 am

    Dear anonymous..... I think you've got too much time on your hands!!!!!!

  5. From Popbitch

    >> Westminster v Camden <<
    Council gets a pat on the back Doghouse Dave writes:
    "I read your report on outside drinking in Westminster. Whilst Westminster have no policy on
    outside drinking Camden have envoked the ADZ (Alcohol Disorder Zone) legislation (designed to
    remove drunks and derelicts from the streets) to clear the streets of normal drinkers. We are in
    the strange situation where my bar Bradleys is on the Westminster side of Hanway Street but the opposite side of the street (where most of our customers choose to stand) is Camden. There you can be fined and have your alcohol confiscated but in Westminster you are free to drink on the street. All very confusing.

    "In conversations with the very helpful man at Westminster Licensing it would appear that most
    notices that appear on pubs in Soho banning outside drinking, saying it's Westminster's
    fault, are put there by the licensees to prevent noise complaints from neighbours that could be even more damaging to their businesses. For once
    I feel that Westminster should be given a pat on the back for their liberal attitude, and a big boo to Camden."


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