At the meeting, Neil Greenway from DOMVS spoke of early hours calls from the police because of attacks on his premises.

“We have come in to find drunks, urine and goodness knows what else… at 4, 5 or 6am you see people lying in the street, or propped up against buildings because they can’t walk.”

Residents said the issues raised were making life a misery, while councillors discussed solutions to the issues.

Pensioner Anne Hill said she took out her hearing aid at night but was still frequently woken in the early hours: “Why must I put up with this?” she said, “My daughter often takes me to her house so I can get some sleep.”

She said she had called in environmental health who installed monitoring equipment on three occasions but said, each time, that there was no statutory nuisance.

Richard Stone, from the Stratton House residents association, said it was wrong that residents were unable to open their windows overnight in the summer because of noise.

“We need a reasonable compromise. 1am, maybe, but 4am closing is ridiculous.”

Gillian Burgess from North Square said residents had made repeated complaints to the district council and police, but here had been little feedback and no action taken.

Pamela Pratt said she had witnessed urination, sickness and sex, in Grey School Passage and the adjoining churchyard.

“I am often woken at 2, 4 or 5 in the morning by loud, drunken, conversation outside my window. It’s very bad in the summer, it’s not civilised.”

Book shop owner Julian Nangle, from High East Street, said he was often woken from 3am onwards and occasionally found vomit in his doorway.

Julian Hancock said he has lived in town centres throughout his life and enjoyed the lifestyle but said that being frequently woken at 4am was “taking things too far”. He said a balance had to be found.

Horse with the Red Umbrella owner John Fiori said that in 15 years he had suffered 16 broken windows and had often had to clear away urine and vomit when he arrived for work. His cafe CCTV had captured sexual acts in the doorway.

“If you saw what goes on the road at 3 or 5am in the morning you wouldn’t believe it…what I would like to see more than anything else is a police presence.”

Father Barry from Holy Trinity said he fully supported the residents worries and talked of drugs being bought and sold in the churchyard with some taking drinks there: “I support local residents and feel sorry for them,” he said.

Sarah Wilkinson spoke of repeated complains to the district council and police: “there is vomit, urine, defecation, drugs, violence and blood on the pavements…we have seen it all. Drunks urinate in front of you, outside your own home. It’s disgusting.”