Labour MP Rachael Maskell wants to create stag and hen do zones to keep revellers away from the locals in York
- Stag and hen do ‘zones’ could be put in York to confine party goers in some areas
- Labour MP Rachel Maskell accused the getaways of causing ‘devastation’ to York
- She claimed revellers leave the streets smelling of urine putting off tourists
- Earlier this year the MP proposed a bill to crackdown on Airbnbs and holiday lets
Stag and hen dos could be confined to certain parts of York city centre, if an MP’s plan to crackdown on rowdy nights out goes ahead.
Labour MP Rachel Maskell, who has served as York Central’s MP since 2015, accused stag and hens of causing ‘devastation’ to the historic city, claiming revellers leave the centre smelling of urine.
To tackle the issue, she has unleashed a blueprint plan that would see those on stags and hen confined to pre-planned zones, with the aim of keeping them ‘hidden from residents’.
This, she said, would help ‘return’ the city to locals’, alleging that families felt that there were ‘no safe spaces’ left in York.
Women on a Hen Party under the nose of the Frankel statue at York Racecourse
Earlier this year, fuming York residents hit out over the raucous antisocial stag and hen dos they believed were taking over the city.
Neighbours living on Bishopthorpe Road in the city wrote to Ms Maskell after two properties on their road had been converted to ‘party houses’.
They wrote: ‘York is known for being a favoured location for large party groups – such as hen and stag dos.
‘We are extremely concerned that these properties will continue to attract noisy parties, unlikely to show consideration to our neighbours.
‘We are now standing together because the conversion of these properties into potential ‘party houses’ is threatening our community, mental well-being and peace.’
In response to the complaints, Ms Maskell presented an Airbnb and Holidays Lets Bill motion to Parliament.
The bill, which is expected to receive wide cross-party support, would require all holiday homes and Airbnb’s in the area to have a licence – councils would also be allowed to deny the licences in some areas reserving the homes for locals.
If passed, it would bring English authority powers in line with those in Scotland Wales and London where action is already being taken to limit the impact of Airbnbs and holiday homes in their communities.
The hen and stag do zones could be placed in one corner of York, possibly near the railway station, away from locals (stock image)
Outlining her plans to ramp down disruption this week she said the hen and stag do zones could be placed in one corner of the city, possibly near the railway station, away from locals.
The former Shadow Employment Minister, however, did acknowledge that without stag and hen dos propping up the city’s hospitality industry, it ‘would probably struggle’.
Last Night of Freedom estimated the pre-wedding getaways bring up to £10m-a-year to the local economy.
People enjoying a meal and drink out in York City Centre in April 2021
Defending her idea, however, she claimed tourists were contacting her office every to week to say they would ‘never again’ visit York.
But the plans have come under fire from those within the hospitality industry.
The boss of Britain’s biggest stag and hen do organiser, Last Night of Freedom, accused Ms Maskell of ‘NIMBYism’, claiming she was over-egging the situation to score cheap political points.
The company’s managing director, Matt Mavir, said: ‘A city centre is about unity, but these plans aim to divide people, effectively putting stags and hens in a pen as if it was a zoo.
‘This is simply NIMBYism. No other city in Britain is suggesting anything this radical, even the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle where the stag and hen industry is even bigger.
Labour MP Rachel Maskell (pictured) has served as York Central’s MP since 2015. In June she presented an Airbnb and Holidays Lets Bill motion to Parliament. If passed Airbnb and holiday let owners would need to get a licence from local authorities to run
‘Perhaps worst of all, these plans show scant regard for the rate-paying bars, restaurants and hotels that are just recovering from years of crippling covid restrictions.
‘This would create an economic black hole in much of the city’s hospitality sector.’
One partygoer, from Sunderland, said: ‘We often come as a group of friends as it is a nice day.
‘You either stop everyone coming and all the bars lose their business – all the bars inside and out are very busy.
‘If you didn’t have this, we wouldn’t be drinking in these bars.’
Last Night of Freedom said that despite Ms Maskell’s claims of ‘destruction’ in the city centre, figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request recently revealed that there had been just seven police incidents that mentioned stags and hens in York since the start of 2021.
It is not the first time hen dos have caused trouble for locals in York.
In 2019, complaints were made after stag and hen do parties were seen wearing sexually explicit clothing, that locals worried could be offensive and be inappropriate for children to see.
Following complaints, North Yorkshire Police warned party goers that they could be committing an offence under the Public Order Act – which carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail.
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