Best Bar None scheme launches in Cheltenham

The national award scheme, ‘Best Bar None’ (BBN), officially launches in Cheltenham today following a successful pilot last year which saw seven licensed premises come on board.

Cheltenham is the first district in the county to sign up to the national scheme which is supported by the Home Office.

BBN is aimed at promoting responsible management of alcohol licensed premises and reducing alcohol related crime and disorder in town centres by building a positive relationship between the licensed trade, police and local authorities.

Cheltenham has the largest night time economy between Birmingham and Bristol .

At the launch, Cllr Anne Regan - Cheltenham 's mayor, presented the borough's first batch of successful award winners from the pilot with their certificates and plaques.

A further five applications are currently being processed and it is hoped that up to 20 venues will win accreditation within the next 12 months. To achieve this, venues have to show that they are professionally managed with clear policies and procedures in place for the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Cllr Klara Sudbury, Cabinet member for housing and safety, says: "We hope that Best Bar None will prove to be as successful here in Cheltenham as it has been in other parts of the country.

"By continuing to work together with our partners and local establishments, we hope that we can continue to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol, and improve the knowledge and skills of enforcement and regulation agencies, licensees and bar staff to help them responsibly manage licensed premises."

Trevor Gladding, community protection manager for Cheltenham Borough Council, continues: "There is a popularly held belief that the town centre is a 'no-go' area after dark due to problems of disorder and drunkenness. The reality is however that due to the successful partnership working of police, council, health and other partner agencies, and the licensed trade itself, the town centre is safer than it has been for years."

Cheltenham licensing officer, PC Andy Cook, says: "Cheltenham Police are committed to tackling crime and disorder connected with the night time economy. We are fortunate that we have a great working relationship with licensees across the town. Cheltenham is a safe place to enjoy an evening out and this scheme will endorse and build on the good work that is already taking place."