A scheme aimed at reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder in St Helens has been approved.
The Best Bar None scheme is a national accreditation scheme supported by the Home Office and the drinks industry.
It is aimed primarily at promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises, in part to address alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
The scheme was initially piloted in Manchester in 2003 and has since been adopted by 75 town centres and cities across the UK.
St Helens Council’s licensing and environmental protection committee has now agreed to adopt the scheme, which will initially focus on St Helens town centre.
Coun Jeanie Bell, chairman of the licensing and environmental protection committee, said: “I think we’ve needed to improve standards in St Helens town centre for a very long time.
“But actually having that, almost, badge of honour, for places to say ‘we are good employers and we support safe drinking and safe communities’. It can only be welcomed.”
Coun Bell said she was “really keen” to see the scheme rolled out across the borough.
The council’s licensing manager Lorraine Simpson said while the scheme will initially focus on St Helens town centre, any premises within the borough will be able to join the scheme from the start.
The scheme will take approximately 12-18 months to set up.
During the set-up period around eight premises from a range of locations across the town centre will support the scheme.
By signing up to Best Bar None, St Helens would be the first authority in the Liverpool City Region to do so.
Ms Simpson said: “Critically the Best Bar None scheme is a scheme to support premises to reach a very high standard, which is what we all want for our premises in the borough.
“We believe that the introduction of the scheme into St Helens will yield a positive long-term effect on the night-time economy.”