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Concerns over plans to axe late noise patrol

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RESIDENTS have expressed concerns over a proposal to cut a late-night noise patrol.

Brighton and Hove City Council is planning to axe the service, which sees environmental protection officers respond to residents’ complaints about noise from 10pm to 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Instead a new proposed scheme will see officers working up until 8pm.

Residents affected by noise have expressed fears about the cut to the service, inlcuding those who live in Cheltenham Place, Brighton, who have three pubs at the end of the street.

Scott Rankin, 40, said: “We have had problems with The Basketmakers with noise and there were problems with The Eagle as well when both of those pubs had a party in the twitten down the road.

“I don’t know whether it was an organised party but there was really loud drum and bass and it was reverberating around the house and it was 11pm.

“So when we phoned up the council they were very good and noise actually went down. They phoned us back and it was a very good service.

“In this street there are a lot of older people and there are young families, so there is a mixture of people here, so the cutting of the hours is a bit disappointing.”

“I am definitely concerned about it and to be fair the pubs do not really control the noise.”

A meeting of the council’s neighbourhoods and communities committee heard that alongside taking over noise complaints, the new four field officers on duty from 12 noon to 8pm every day will be expected to cover noise nuisance investigations, low-level antisocial behaviour among other complaints across the city. The scheme will start in April.

Green councillors criticised the axing of the noise patrol.

Councillor Pete West said: “We know from residents that noise disturbance is a real concern. The responsibility for noise complaints lies with the council and not the police, so we need to provide suitable support. The new field officer proposals do represent some welcome innovation and many of the suggestions – such as visiting noisy neighbours the next day when they are more likely to respond -– do have their merits. However Labour’s approach to scrap the late night noise service altogether risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

“After 20 years of operation, noise patrol needs interest, investment and reorganisation by Labour to become more effective, rather than the swing of their axe.

“Foolishly the Labour council has refused to trial this system, so will be spending council money without any evidence the new proposals will work. The Labour administration’s approach to this is irresponsible and risks leaving many residents to face late night noise complaints alone.”

Acouncil spokesman said: “The out-of-hours noise patrol service on Friday and Saturday nights will be stopping. The demand for this service has reduced and we’ve found there are more cases where we we’ve been unable to take action to stop the noise due to the behaviour of the perpetrator, meaning that neighbours’ expectations are raised and then not met.

“Under the new service, we will be visiting victims of noise nuisance and the perpetrators the following day, when officers are able to deal with the issues in a calm and safe manner.”

Anyone experiencing noise nuisance should continue to call the environmental protection team on 01273 294266.


Source: The Argus