A COUNCILLOR has stressed the importance of social distancing after reports of people gathering in open space at Ruskin Drive.

St Helens Council says it has been made aware of concerns from residents nearby to the facility over a number of people gathering at the site.

It is understood people have gathered on the cricket field, close to the Sticky Wicket bar, which has been offering a takeaway service.

Police have attended the site after they received reports in relation to a number of people in the area during the last two weekends (May 23 and 30).

Officers provided advice to people around social distancing.

A police spokesman said: "A report was received on May 23 of a large number of people on Ruskin Drive, officers attended and provided advice.

"A further report was received on Saturday, May 30) of a number of people gathering near the Sticky Wicket pub.

"Officers spoke with the licensee and it was established the pub has been open for a couple of weeks offering a take away service. Advice was given around social distancing."

The council said the business is complying with necessary conditions and urged people to maintain social distancing.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, the local authority's cabinet member for community safety, said: “The council is aware of the concerns of local residents regarding people gathering in open space near Ruskin Drive.

“There is a business that is operating nearby on limited trading hours providing a takeaway service.

“The council has worked with this business to ensure they can trade effectively, safely and within the licensing regulations.

"Visits to the property by council officers have confirmed that the business is complying with all the necessary conditions.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind residents that although lockdown measures have been relaxed, it is still crucial for everyone’s health to maintain social distancing, keeping at least two-metres away from the nearest person when out in public.

“ Local residents are advised that any concerns regarding anti-social behaviour in the locality can be reported safer.sthelens.gov.uk/pages/ready-2-respect/ or by calling 01744 676789.”

Stephen Palfrey, operations director at Ruskin, added: "Like lots of local businesses we’re facing a very tough time, and we’ve adapted our business to meet the demands of a very challenging and different world.

"We’ve always been responsible and mindful of the rights and needs of local residents, and we’ll work with them, the council and Merseyside Police to do all we can to tackle anti-social behaviour on the wider site.”