Town centre footfall remains 'very, very quiet' in South Tyneside following the coronavirus pandemic, with businesses and fans told to be 'realistic' about World Cup events

Council chiefs have reported town centre nightlife in South Tyneside remains “very, very quiet” while they prepare to “wait and see” what impact the upcoming World Cup has on pubs and residents.

According to local authority chiefs, trade in the borough’s pubs is still thought to be lagging behind pre-pandemic levels.

However, this is also being reflected in similarly low levels of crime and anti-social behavious (ASB) in South Shields town centre, relative to what was seen before the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Lawrence Waldock, South Tyneside Council’s operations manager for licensing, said police had also observed “relatively quiet” Friday and Saturday nights, but said his department remained on hand to investigate any issues which arise in the future.

King Street, South Shields - footfall in the borough has continued to struggle since the coronavirus pandemic.
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“I can report it’s very, very quiet in the town centre,” he told Monday’s (October 31) meeting of the borough council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee.

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“It hasn’t really recovered from the pandemic yet – and let’s be honest, it was very quiet before the pandemic.

“Let’s see what the future holds for the town centre, but generally speaking there’s nothing significant, if anything to report in antisocial behaviour and things attributed to crime and disorder in the pub trade in the town centre itself.”

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At the same meeting, questions were raised by councillors over the number of applications made by pubs and other premises for licence alterations or for special events to be held to screen FIFA World Cup matches during November and December.

Councillor Doreen Purvis said: “I think we’ve got to temper a once in a lifetime event with the residents who live beside these places.”

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Council officers said they are awaiting Government guidance for any activities during the period, but noted venues could apply to the council for temporary event notices for screenings not covered by their existing licensing conditions.

Officials added any venues which breach their licence conditions could face enforcement action, while statutory nuisance rules would also still apply.

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Mr Waldock added: “It will be nice and hot in Qatar, but it’s not going to be nice and hot in South Shields or wherever.

“I think we’ve got to be realistic, I don’t think it’s worth maybe putting televisions outside, but there might be one or two things.”