Eyemouth and Coldingham could be on the way to getting new byelaws to prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public places.
Following the longest consultation process ever undertaken by Scottish Borders Council, councillors will decide today which settlements in the Borders should be covered when the new byelaw is implemented.
Council officials are recommending that only communities where there is public support for the byelaws are covered.
Six towns and villages are in favour of restricting the drinking of alcohol in public places – Eyemouth, Coldingham, Galashiels town centre, Hawick, Jedburgh and Newtown St Boswells. Community support in Eyemouth was described as “very keen”.
“The level of response to this process was disappointing,” said Anne Isles, SBC’s legal and licensing services manager.
Duns Community Council did not support the introduction of the byelaws in the town.
Also rejecting the proposal, Coldstream and District Community Council said the byelaws “should only be introduced where there is a proven issue of on-street drinking and where the community support it.”
For those communities covered by the byelaws there will be exceptions made to allow people to drink alcohol in public places on their principal festival day and also to celebrate the new year.
If councillors decide to introduce the byelaws in the region a draft will be drawn up, in consultation with the Scottish Government.
There will then be a month-long statutory public consultation period, and if there are no objections the byelaws will need to be confirmed by the Scottish Government and notices displayed in the communities covered.
The Scottish Borders is the only local authority in Scotland that doesn’t have byelaws restricting the consumption of alcohol in public places. The introduction of byelaws is supported by Police Scotland, NHS Borders and the Scottish Ambulance Service.