Blackpool, which enjoyed a bumper year for visitors in 2012, could lose hundreds of hospitality jobs, if pub opening hours are restricted, Unite, the largest union in the country, warned today (Monday 24 June).
The job losses would come if Blackpool council goes ahead with plans to implement an EMRO (Early Morning Restriction Order), forcing all pubs and clubs to shut at 03.00 rather than the current time of 05.00.
Blackpool enjoyed its best summer last year for visitor numbers in four years with seven million visitors, according to the Office for National Statistics. The resort had a rise of 1.7 million visitors between May and August compared to 2011.
Licensees Unite, which represents pub managers, bar staff and other hospitality industry workers, warned today that hundreds of jobs could be lost.
The council has commenced a 42-day consultation process over the proposal, but Unite shares the widespread concern of those in Blackpool’s hospitality industry that if they have to close earlier, it will lose its place as a premier destination resort, as tourists choose other destinations with fewer restrictions.
Dave Daly, vice-president of Licensees Unite and manager of the Castle Hotel in Blackpool, said: "The police say there is a lot of crime and disorder after 03.00, but the EMRO is a nuclear option when there are other solutions that haven’t been tried.
“Existing licensing law already allows the closure of individual sites if they are shown to be troublesome, so why take such drastic action that could cause hundreds, and maybe thousands of job losses? The impact will rebound on taxi drivers, security staff, and workers in restaurants and takeaways.
“Blackpool currently has about 4,000 workers in the late night economy, 70 per cent of them aged 18-25 - this area can ill afford to lose any more jobs.
“The fact that Blackpool enjoyed a bumper year for visitors in 2012 adds strength to our argument – we don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg on the Golden Mile.
“We urge the council to think again and conduct a thorough examination of alternative options, rather than doing something that condemns the majority for the actions of a few.”
For further information please contact Dave Daly on 07904 474194 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Licensees Unite is part of Unite which is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.