Stag and hen parties could be limited to certain parts of York city centre, if an MP’s plan to crack down on rowdy nights out goes ahead.
Labor MP Rachel Maskell, who has served as MP for York Central since 2015, accused the deer and chickens of causing ‘devastation’ in the historic city, claiming revelers leave the center smelling of urine.
To tackle the problem, he has unleashed a model plan that would see deer and chickens confined to pre-planned zones, with the aim of keeping them “hidden from residents”.
This, he said, would help ‘give back ‘the city to the locals’, claiming that families felt there were ‘no safe spaces left’ in York.
Women at a hen party under the nose of Frankel’s statue at York Racecourse
Earlier this year, angry York residents criticized raucous anti-social stag and hen parties they believed were taking over the city.
Neighbors living on Bishopthorpe Road in the town wrote to Mrs Maskell after two properties on her street were converted into ‘party houses’.
They wrote: ‘York is known to be a favorite spot for large party groups, such as stag/hen parties.
“We are extremely concerned that these properties will continue to attract loud parties, likely to show no consideration for our neighbors.
“Now we stand together because the conversion of these properties into potential ‘party houses’ threatens our community, mental well-being and peace.”
In response to the complaints, Ms Maskell tabled an Airbnb and Holidays Lets Bill motion to Parliament.
The bill, which is expected to receive broad cross-party support, would require all vacation homes and Airbnbs in the area to be licensed; councils could also deny licenses in some areas reserving houses for locals.
If passed, it would align the powers of English authorities with those in Scotland, Wales and London, where steps are already being taken to limit the impact of Airbnbs and holiday homes on their communities.
Stag areas could be set up on a York street corner, possibly near the train station, away from the locals (stock image)
Outlining his plans to reduce disruption this week, he said the stag/hen party zones could be located in a corner of the city, possibly near the train station, away from locals.
However, the former Shadow Employment Minister acknowledged that without stag parties underpinning the city’s hospitality industry, he “would probably struggle”.
Last Night of Freedom estimated that pre-wedding getaways add up to £10m a year to the local economy.
People enjoying a meal and drink in York city center in April 2021
However, defending his point, he claimed that tourists contacted his office every two weeks to tell him that they would “never again” visit York.
But the plans have been criticized by those within the hotel industry.
The boss of Britain’s biggest stag and hen party organiser, Last Night of Freedom, accused Ms Maskell of ‘NIMBYism’, claiming she was exaggerating the situation for cheap political points.
The company’s managing director, Matt Mavir, said: “The center of a city is about unity, but these plans are aimed at dividing people, effectively putting deer and chickens in a pen like a zoo.”
‘This is just NIMBYism. No other city in Britain suggests anything so radical, including Liverpool and Newcastle, where the stag and hen party industry is even bigger.
Labor MP Rachel Maskell (pictured) has served as York Central MP since 2015. In June, she tabled an Airbnb and Holidays Lets bill motion to Parliament. If approved, Airbnb and vacation rental owners would have to obtain a license from local authorities to operate.
“Perhaps worst of all, these plans show little regard for the paying bars, restaurants and hotels that are recovering from years of crippling covid restrictions.
“This would create an economic black hole in much of the city’s hotel sector.”
One partygoer, from Sunderland, said: ‘We often come as a group of friends because it’s a good day.
‘Or you let everyone come 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 about “destruction” in the city center, figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request recently revealed there were only seven incidents. police reports mentioning deer and chickens in York since early 2021.
It’s not the first time chickens have caused trouble for locals in York.
In 2019, complaints were made after stag parties were seen wearing sexually explicit clothing, which locals worried might be offensive and inappropriate for children to see.
Following the complaints, North Yorkshire Police warned partygoers that they could be committing an offense under the Public Order Act, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.