Colne’s revellers to be given a “Chance to Change”

Launch of the 'Chance for Change' scheme for pubs in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
Launch of the 'Chance for Change' scheme for pubs in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons

Troublemakers banned from Colne’s pubs and clubs are being given the opportunity to redeem themselves in a pioneering scheme.

Launched by Colne Pubwatch licensees CAND (Communities against Night-time Disorder) and East Lancashire’s Integrated Substance Misuse Service Inspire, “Chance To Change” is aimed at helping those suffering from alcohol or drug related problems.

As of this week, offenders are able to choose whether they go on the town’s “banned list” or attend five sessions at Inspire, in Nelson.

Those already barred will also be involved in the initiative, so long as they fit its criteria. There are currently 88 people banned from the town’s drinking spots.

Lisa Cochrane, Inspire’s project manager, said: “Some of those who are on Colne’s banned list really do need help to overcome their problems and lifestyle issues.

“We’re really excited about the positive impact it could have on people’s lives. We want to highlight the harm that their current behaviour could cause to themselves and their family, as well as the wider community.”

As well as supporting those already experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol, “Chance to Change” will also aim to stop individuals developing more serious issues with substances in the future.

The pilot scheme, which has become a key action in Pendle Community Safety Partnership’s plan, will be trialled over the next 12 months.

If successful, it will also be rolled out across Pendle, in Nelson, Barrowford and Barnoldswick.

Noel Buckley, co-chairman of CAND said: “This will point people in the right direction of an organisation that can offer help and advice instead of being barred from all the pubs in Colne.

“Those who fail to attend mandatory sessions will remain barred and they will only be able to complete the course once.”

Throughout the past week, landlords, police, councillors and Pendle Council’s licensing team have all shown their support for the unique initiative — which involves all venues who are members of the Pubwatch scheme.

These are the Crown Hotel, Craic I’th Wall, Union Exchange, Commercial Hotel, Queen’s Hotel, Jovial Hatters, The Morris Dancers, Wallace Hartley, Colne Cricket Club, Cotton Tree Inn, Foulridge Social Club, Golden Ball, Langroyd, Duke of Lancaster and The Venue.

Maggie Owens, landlady at the Union Exchange, in Market Street, said: “I think it is a really good idea myself, and it will help a lot of people with drink and drug use.

“Let’s hope we can help some people.”

And Dan Sunderland, landlord at the Cotton Tree Inn, in Rosley Street, Winewall, added: “It is a good idea.

“I think it will reduce the amount of people on the CAND list.”

For PC Mark Walker, who is responsible for policing Colne town centre together with the town’s licensed venues, the “Chance to Change” project will positively target and offer a level of support to the “very small minority of people who may overindulge in drink, or become involved in substance misuse.”

He added: “Lancashire Constabulary is really pleased to support CAND with its exciting new partnership initiative with Inspire.

“CAND continues to go from strength to strength. Colne has already seen significant year on year crime reductions in both violent crime and anti-social behaviour, and this pilot scheme will reduce that figure even further.”

And Coun. David Whipp, who oversees community safety in Pendle, added: “The introduction of this unique partnership is win win.

“It will help to promote a safer environment for residents and visitors to the town and improve the health and wellbeing of those who attend the sessions.”