Headlines: August 31st, 2005

Councillors in Leicester will be asked next week to endorse a series of recommendations about the future of the city’s night time economy, which have been drawn up following a review including a number of public sessions.The process began in December and the review team took written evidence from a wide range of groups, including residents, licensees, businesses and the police. The results of the review, the first of its kind to be led by councillors, will be presented to the City Council’s cabinet by Councillor Andy Vincent, who chairs the strategic planning and regeneration scrutiny committee, which sponsored the study.

The study found there was a common perception that the city’s night time economy was dominated by bars and restaurants and lacked non-alcohol based activities such as cinemas and theatres. The cabinet will be asked to endorse the review’s findings and to set out plans for putting them into action.

In addition to providing a greater diversity in the activities on offer in the city centre at night, the review’s recommendations include effective management of crime and disorder, including illegal traders, noise, and lewd acts and calls for greater attention to be paid to the social environment and the use of space in the city centre, including improvements to street cleaning.

The review team also want backing for the idea of a group of key leaders to provide vision and leadership as well as the development of a public relations campaign on the back of positive steps to address the problems of the city centre. Overall the cabinet will be asked to support the view that the city centre is and should be treated as a major focal point.

Councillor Vincent said the council had a key role to play in the development of the centre but realising the aspirations of all those who took part in the review would require the authority to work in partnership with business, licensees and residents.