Comment by: Ian Howarth
Focus area: Pubs
Regulator concerned: Environmental Heath (Local Authority)
We are based in [text deleted] Buxton Derbyshire. As far as the local licensing authority is concerned they are very approachable and very keen to assist in any licenseing issues especially [text deleted].
The problem that we have here is the local authority [text deleted] operate there own venues in direct competition against local traders including pubs. Recently they hosted the Euro matches which were subsibised by local rate payers and they operate the bars etc… in direct competition against us and this event was a lifeline to many pubs which was taken away from them. The chap who runs the [text deleted][text deleted] is unapproachable by all of us, and doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong in taking business and trade from local traders. They recently increased his remit to include regeneration of the Shopping Street and Market Place areas. We were approached recently by the local authority to stage an event for the Olympic Torch, we gave them a list of our ideas which included live music, food, fairground attractions etc. We also requested a road closure imediatly after the torch passed, what was concerning was that our requests were refused and all our ideas which we had presented, were then moved the the [text deleted] for them to cash in on. Also [text deleted] I believe is on a bonus scheme if the [text deleted] hits specific targets, therefore it appears that he is prioriting his resourses into there own facility to personaly benefit from it.
Before Christmas I was visited by licensing and the police 4 times in 3 weeks during several town centre initiatives, this included test purchases of underage, drug dog inspections and license checks, I will add that we passed all the tests. On the final visit I asked the police seargent when the last time the local [text deleted] had received any inspections or visits, he advised that he wasn’t aware that any visits had ever taken place.The concern here is that who polices the licensing authority when the licensing authority operate there own venues who regulates the regulator?
Regards Ian Howarth [text deleted]