Cllr Linda Holt commented:
“I support the recent call for St Andrews to be treated as a special case when Fife Licensing Board considers the number of licensed premises in its review of licensing policy.
St Andrews Central has 103 licensed premises per 10,000 of 18+ population. This is the highest concentration in Fife, and almost three times the Fife average.
The reason why this statistic is important is that St Andrews Central also has the highest number of anti-social behaviour incidents per 1000 of 18+ popultion in NE Fife. At 33 incidents of anti-social behaviour for every thousand adults in Central St Andrews, this is three times the rate of the next worse place in NE Fife (Cupar Central at 11) and almost three times the Fife average of 13.
The causal relationship between number of licensed premises and anti-social behaviour is well-established. The excessive incidence of anti-social behaviour is undoubtedly due to the concentration of students in the centre of St Andrews, and it is a compelling argument for limiting new licences both for off-licenses and houses of multiple occupation in the area.
This, however, only prevents a further rise in anti-social behaviour; it does nothing to curb current levels which are surely too high for the town’s long-suffering residents. The obvious policy intervention to consider here is a reduction in the number of existing licences for off-licenses and HMOs.
I also echo recent calls that St Andrews work to achieve Purple Flag status. This would undoubtedly improve the quality of life for everyone in the town, residents and visitors alike. It’s a great initiative which could also do a lot for other other towns in NE Fife like Cupar and Anstruther, and I will be approaching Fife Council for ways to take this forward for my ward.”