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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 00:22 GMT
Town outdoor drink bans approved
Public drinking will be banned in Annan under the new by-laws
Plans to ban drinking alcohol in public in six towns across south west Scotland have been approved.

The new by-laws will be introduced to Annan, Moffat, Lockerbie, Langholm, Gretna and Eastriggs on 15 February.

A number of exceptions have been agreed including Hogmanay and during the time of local gala days.

Dumfries and Galloway Police said that other such by-laws across the region had seen a positive effect on reducing anti-social behaviour.

The introduction of the new legislation has been confirmed by the Scottish Government.

Public drinking is often a nuisance and can greatly hamper the quality of life for residents in a particular area
Kenny MacAskill
Justice secretary

Annan's riding of the marches, Lockerbie's gala and riding of the marches and Moffat's gala and agricultural show will be exempt.

In Langholm the common riding, Pickin' of the Cornet, Simmer Fair Night and agricultural show will all be excluded from the by-law.

The chairman of Annandale and Eskdale area committee, Ian Lindsay, said it would "hopefully bring some peace to the members of the public who have been affected by uncontrolled drinking in the past".

'Reduce disorder'

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill confirmed the timing of the ban.

"Public drinking is often a nuisance and can greatly hamper the quality of life for residents in a particular area," he said.

"The 31 councils that have such by-laws in force have paid testimony to their effectiveness in reducing the nuisance and disorder commonly associated with public drinking.

"I will continue to support other councils that come forward with similar by-law proposals"

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