City lights out at usual time

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Falkirk’s top nightspot has been refused permission to open for an extra hour at weekends.

Bosses of the City in Princes Street had asked the council’s licensing board for the okay to close at 4am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The lawyer representing the award winning business which opened in 2007 claimed the nightclub industry is changing and City has to move with the times.

Archie MacIver argued competitors in Dunfermline and Livingston who already have the 4am deadline are tempting City regulars away.

Police Scotland objected to the plan. It told the board there was a “very real” possibility of disorder and an increase in violence which would have a negative impact on the area and stretch police resources. The police said it had serious concerns the extra hour would tip the balance in the wrong direction and doubted if the Street Pastors, taxi marshalls and taxi drivers would want to be available for the extra hour.

Area Commander Damian Armstrong said: “We try to work with the night time industry and keep the streets of Falkirk safe, but have concerns about keeping people safe after 3am.”

Mr MacIver said police in Fife had expressed similar worries about disturbance and drunkenness, but at the end of a six month trial their attitude had changed.

He told the board: “What happened there was the people were leaving at different times and that actually eased the situation and contributed to the fact there was no increase in anti-social behaviour.

“The owners of City put the safety of its customers first and this is reflected in its investment in staff training, CCTV and the personal cameras the stewards wear. City is a leader in its field when it comes to public safety.”

He said there was no evidence clubbers were buying more drink because of the extra hour, just taking more time to spend it, but did admit attendance figures at its club in Dunfermline had increased by 26 per cent.