Islington Council urged to tackle drink problems in Angel

�Drink-fuelled trouble in one of Islington’s busiest nightlife districts could spiral out of control because the town hall is stalling on moves to tackle the problem, it has been claimed.

Problems caused by nuisance drinkers spilling out of bars and clubs in Upper Street and Essex Road are “in danger of getting out of hand”, according to one campaigner calling for a “saturation zone” in the area.

Opposition councillor Susan Buchanan has been backed by hundreds of residents who signed a petition demanding the zone, which would give the council greater powers to stop new bars and off licences opening.

But she claims town hall chiefs are dragging their feet on a promise to seriously consider the move.

Cllr Buchanan, who represents St Mary’s ward, said: “This has been dragging on, meanwhile residents are still putting up with anti-social behaviour from drinkers and licences are still being issued. I have had two complaints just this week.

“It’s in danger of getting out of hand – enough is enough and it’s time for action.”

Currently Clerkenwell is the only area where a saturation zone – also known as a “cumulative impact area” – is in force, which means anyone applying for a new alcohol licence must show they will not add to problems.

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Council bosses agreed to look at the proposal to bring one into place around Upper Street at a meeting in December – but since then nothing has happened.

Islington Council insisted it has been active at confronting drink-related antisocial behaviour, highlighting its recent introduction of a borough-wide “controlled drinking zone” that gives police extra powers over drinkers.

Jan Hart, the council’s director of public protection, added: “We won’t tolerate crime and anti-social behaviour and are taking firm action against problems linked to alcohol.

“With police, we’re looking at options for creating cumulative impact zones, and at changes to the law which give us new alternative powers.”