Petition launched to stop Grimsby convenience store selling alcohol from 7am
MORE than 120 people have said no to yet another convenience store selling breakfast-time booze.
The Lincolnshire Cooperative in Second Avenue, on Grimsby's Nunsthorpe Estate, has applied to North East Lincolnshire Council for permission to sell alcohol from 7am.
Tesco and Asda supermarkets in Grimsby sell it 24 hours, and Nisa on the estate's Sutcliffe Avenue already sells it from 6am, but residents are now saying "enough is enough".
If the application is approved, the shop will be able to serve customers alcohol from 7am daily, instead of 8am Monday to Saturday and 10am on a Sunday.
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Currently the store trades from 7am until 8pm seven days a week and the firm wants to bring the alcohol licence in line with its opening times - although some stores, such as Cleethorpes' Tesco Extra, and nearby Spar shops don't sell alcohol during all of their trading hours.
The 24-hour Cleethorpes store sells it between 10am and 11pm and Spar on Waltham Road, which is open 7am until 11pm seven days a week, sells it between 8am and 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am until 10.30pm on Sundays.
A total of 129 people have signed a petition opposing the change at the Co-op.
Residents in the area believe that the sale of alcohol at the same time as school children are visiting the shop could be a bad influence on them.
Petition organiser Irene Williams, 65, of Kingsley Grove, Grimsby, said: "The shop in the morning is always full of kids.
"If they sell alcohol earlier it will only bring alcoholics in at the same time.
"Children should not mix with that type of person because they could be easily influenced.
"It is also possible that they could get alcohol themselves from older people.
"Everyone I have spoken to is against the change, which is why I set up the petition.
"I have spoken to a range of people who use the shop and I have 129 signatures opposing the sale of alcohol at that time in the morning.
"I only spent about four hours collecting the names and if I was to do it again I would have spent longer out there.
"We have enough problems on the estate with drinking and this will not help.
"This could affect the whole community.
"I hope the council listens and doesn't allow the changes to go forward.
"Children do not need to see bad influences on the way to school."
Resident Sue West, 51, added: "If we start selling alcohol that early we will get the drunks coming round.
"There are a lot of young children here and it is not good for them to mix with that sort of person.
"Getting served at 8am is too early, never mind 7am."
Lincolnshire Co-op spokesman Emma Snedden said: "We have applied for a variation to the licence for our store in Nunsthorpe so we can match the store and licensing hours, allowing us to give a clearer message to our customers.
"With regard to proxy alcohol sales we are fully aware of the law surrounding this area and do all we can to prevent such sales. Our staff are extensively trained in this issue. We are also fortunate that we are glass fronted and have good visibility. Our figures also show our early morning sales of alcohol to be low.
"We comply with all current legislation. We strictly adhere to licensing objectives, working with the police and trading standards whenever possible to ensure that we are fully compliant with the law and retail responsibly. As such we undertake our own internal test purchases. We conducted a test purchase in the last week at our Nunsthorpe store and passed.
"At store level all new starters undertake a qualification – the BIIAB Award for Responsible Alcohol Retailing. We also use advanced till systems that require you to actually estimate the purchaser's age and if it is under 26, the customer has to show ID.
"We also run a 'Safer Measures' scheme giving alcohol awareness education to local school children. To date we have delivered alcohol awareness sessions to 7,916 pupils, 16 young people and 82 adult learners. In Grimsby we have offered alcohol awareness training to all schools twice yearly."
The application will be considered at a licensing hearing at Grimsby Town Hall tomorrow.