Leader of Opposition McKeeva Bush is calling for a full scale review of the Liquor Licensing Law and a ban on any more liquor licences being granted within 3,000 feet of public buildings.
These buildings would include any church, public or private school, homes for the elderly, civic centre, public beaches or any other such public establishment.
Mr. Bush has submitted a private member motion to the Legislative Assembly calling for the review of the Liquor Licensing Law, to be considered at the next sitting of the House, which begins on 31 August.
Mr. Bush brought the motion following a recent decision of the Liquor Licensing Board to allow Jacques Scott to move a liquor store to Savannah.
A group of residents opposed the application on the grounds that Savannah is traditionally a dry area and because of the proximity to churches and a primary school.
‘I brought the motion because the matter at Savannah raised the profile of the Liquor Licensing Law and how badly it needs to be reviewed,’ said Mr. Bush. He added, ‘I think what my motion says is what’s needed now.’
Mr. Bush has also brought the motion because of concern for the number of liquor licences granted and existing in the Cayman Islands and concern over youth and underage drinking.
Mr. Bush wants a review to be completed by April 2008 or earlier and once the review is completed, the law to be changed at the next sitting of the House after that.
Mr. Bush wants it to be mandated that in any such review there will not be any more liquor licences granted within 3,000 feet of community buildings such as churches, schools or even public beaches.
When asked how he came up with the 3,000 feet (0.57 mile) distance, Mr. Bush said it is not a figure that was come up with scientifically, but it was given for consideration. He said perhaps somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 feet would be deemed appropriate.
He also wants all laws that affect the Liquor Licensing Law to be reviewed as part of this exercise.
The motion is moved by Mr. Bush and seconded by MLA Cline Glidden.
The Minister with responsibility for the Liquor Licensing Board, Charles Clifford had not responded with his comments on the motion by press time.