Our Licensing Work
The Society is working with Colchester Borough Council, local businesses and others to further improve Colchester’s evening and night-time economy offer, making it a safe, welcoming and pleasant place for people of all ages to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activity. Many viewed our Purple Flag accreditation with wry amusement, but Colchester really is doing its best to deal with disruptive revellers. The Civic Society suggested the SOS Bus, which very successfully helps anyone out on the town at the weekend who has a problem. There is a lot of misunderstanding about the SOS Bus. Yes, of course they help those who have had too much to drink and, by doing so, take some of the pressure off the Police, the Ambulance Service and A&E, but they also deal with a myriad of other problems such as young girls accidentally separated from friends and worried about going home alone, people with epilepsy who have been affected by unexpected strobe lights, stolen bags containing money for a taxi home, broken high heels ( the staff have a supply of flip flops). The list goes on and on. Sometimes, all that is needed is a reassuring word. Sometimes it’s a phone call to a worried parent. The SOS Bus offers an incredible service and we should be very proud of it. We must remember that the night time economy causes problems throughout the UK. Most town centres change beyond all recognition at night. Many of the problems stem from the Licensing Act of 2003. Colchester Civic Society was deeply involved in the Civic Trust’s fight against that law. We knew what would happen and we were proved right. After several discussions at Westminster, we did manage to tweak bits of it but not enough. It wasn’t for the want of trying!