When asked about the number of premises selling alcohol on Holloway Road -counted at 130, with 13 of those in the last 18 months alone- by a local resident in Full Council in February of this year Cllr Smith gave the response below:
‘The Council is very much on the side of the community in being concerned about the number of premises retailing alcohol... We have introduced into our Licensing Policy the provision for refusal of an application if representations are made that there are already sufficient licensed premises in the area’.
Tesco have a pending license application for their new store on the parallel Hornsey Road, which also has a high number of licensed premises of its own. I do hope that the Council will keeps its own provisions in mind when considering this application and refuse it.
As I have said elsewhere in this blog I appreciate that many people find supermarkets convenient. However evidence shows that they are damaging to the local community and more widely. Supermarkets result in the closure of small local retailers and evidence shows they result in a net loss of jobs and shift money out of the local community. The behaviour of supermarkets towards farmers and other suppliers is often bullying.
It is well recognised that small, local businesses provide much more to the local community than just what they sell; they will use the services of other local businesses, such as accountants, builders and insurance brokers, while the corporate will do all this at their Head Office. Local businesses also tend to be much more engaged in the community.
It is unfortunate that at the moment every new development in Islington seems to automatically come with a supermarket attached. Let’s not add to the damage caused by agreeing to the alcohol license.