NME Festival blog: Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos slams Hackney Council after introduction of strict licensing laws


“It will rip the soul out of the area”.

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos has led the backlash against Hackney Council after it imposed strict new licensing laws on the borough’s bars and nightspots.

The new rules were passed on Wednesday night and will restrict new venues in areas including Dalston and Shoreditch from opening past 11pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

But it has faced direct backlash from campaigners who say that it risks killing off nightlife in the capital.

“Very disappointed with proposals from @hackneycouncil to cripplingly restrict licensing hours and conditions”, Kapranos wrote on Twitter.

“It will rip the soul out of the area and is overwhelmingly opposed by local residents. Please reconsider.”

He was backed by Plastician, who described it as “awful news”.

“Awful news here once again”, he wrote.

“Hackney clamping down on future venues essentially making it pointless to open a night time establishment there.”

Hackney Council has since defended the decision, claiming that  current licensing rules are “out of date and need renewing”.

Councillor Emma Plouviez told the Evening Standard: “Without these steps to manage our nightlife, we face a potential situation where the committee could be forced to approve late licences for venues that are completely unsuitable and will have a huge impact on residents’ lives.”





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