FRESH calls have been made for stronger action by various authorities to tackle alleged late-night problems in an East Lancs village.

A residents’ group has again urged Ribble Valley Council to review licences, closing times, noise controls and other licensing conditions for venues in Whalley.

But a councillor who leads the borough’s licensing committee, says enforcement work has increased. But licensing reviews of premises should not be started by the council.

Instead, other people or organisations should initiate demands for reviews, she said.

Michael Wedgeworth, a spokesman for Whalley Queen Street residents’ group, said Ribble Valley should use its full range of powers to review and amend licences. He recognised the borough’s ‘cumulative impact assessment’, a system designed to control the impact of licensed premises in Whalley, where new businesses must prove their activities will not worsen problems.

But he added: "There has been no licensing reviews, no reduction in closing times, no new CCTV in problem areas and no satisfactory reduction in music and noise, mostly near The Aviary and Rendezvous nightclub.

"There are still issues up to 5am and the management of anti-social behaviour on the streets does not seem to be happening, although that is more of a matter for the police. These issues are having a serious effect on the mental health and wellbeing of people in the area, Please, please take some action to help us deal with the problem.”

Cllr Stella Brunskill, who chairs the borough's licensing committee, said: "The council has increased enforcement action in the last 18 months and added an extra officer to its team.

"Steps have been taken to establish pub watch schemes in Clitheroe, Whalley and Longridge. Better co-operation between premises has been established. Co-ordinated visits by police and enforcement officers have taken place during busy weekends.

"Enforcement officers routinely visit Whalley to ensure premises comply with licence conditions. And environmental health officers can, and do, attend in response to concerns without needing to give prior notice.”

But on licensing reviews, Coun Brunskill added: “Reviews should be based on evidence. They can be bought by responsible authorities or other interested parties. The guidance is that licensing authorities should not initiate reviews,  which should properly be bought by other parties.”