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Ixelles hires late-night wardens to keep Flagey noise down
A ban on late-night drinking in public around Place Flagey, which expires at the end of October, looks unlikely to be renewed - with Ixelles planning instead to crack down on noise and littering instead of focusing on alcohol.
An initial 2.00 deadline for cafe terraces and night shops to close was brought forward to midnight in March, before being extended to 1.00 in the morning following concerns from local businesses.
Ixelles mayor Dominique Dufourny said the measure appeared to have worked - but more would now be done to tackle noise pollution in particular.
"The rules around Flagey got a lot of people talking, and not always in a positive way," Dufourny said. "But people have been complaining for years about incessant noise."
The municipality is currently recruiting a team of late-night wardens who will patrol the area to prevent noise nuisance from September - a month ahead of the municipal elections. Three of the planned 12 wardens have already been hired.
Signs telling passers-by to keep the noise down have been placed at 10 strategic locations around the square and its neighbouring roads.
Police handed out 106 fines for drinking in public in the first five weeks of the ban around Place Flagey and Place Sainte-Croix. But only 13 fines were issued in the following five months from mid-April to mid-August.
Ixelles police commissioner Didier Govaerts said the sharp decline demonstrated that traders and members of the public had understood the message. "Complaints from local residents have fallen," he added.