Lack of ‘corroborated evidence’ by councillor who complained so Georges can keep live music without employing door staff

11:10 18 February 2014

The licensing committee into Georges which began last month but was quickly postponed

The licensing committee into Georges which began last month but was quickly postponed

Archant

A March publican has won his battle to keep live music without having to employ door staff that could have threatened his livelihood.

Fenland Council licensing committee concluded that councillor Kit Owen, who called for a review of Georges’ licence, had not produced sufficient evidence to justify Nigel Marsh employing door staff on music nights.

He had claimed at a licensing hearing last week that residents had raised “sufficient and numerous” incidents to merit the council insisting door staff should be employed.

Cllr Owen also referred to “fighting and lack of control” but said it was not a personal attack on Georges “since I live too far away from it, but I do care because of the people who live nearby”.

But Councillor Kay Mayor, in a delayed ruling issued late on Monday, said: “There was a lack of corroborated evidence to implement the use of SIA (Security Industry Authority) door staff as requested by Cllr Owen”.

During an interval during the hearing Mr Marsh had agreed to keep a middle front door closed after 11pm and to monitor noise outside the pub at hourly intervals on music nights.

But the council has decided more draconian interventions are neither needed nor necessary.

The hearing had broken up without a firm decision after barrister Matthew Paul, on behalf of Georges, had questioned whether the council had the right to stage a review so soon after a previous hearing in October to consider a licence extension.

And Mr Paul had also queried if the council alone had the right to raise other issues bearing in mind the police had brought forward no objections and the council’s own licensing team had been forced at the 11th hour to withdraw their representations for legal reasons.

But Cllr Mayor insisted that oral and written evidence by Chris and Jamie Wilcox who live opposite “indicates incidences of both crime and disorder and public safety. “There is also evidence throughout the agenda of further incidents.”

She said advice taken by her committee was that public nuisance could include low level noise “perhaps affecting a few people living locally as well as major disturbances affecting the whole community”.

In her committee’s ruling Cllr Mayor said that “if entertainment music noise from Georges is clear and distinct, for example if lyrics are identifiable, then the volume of music must be turned down to such an extent that the entertainment music noise is no longer clear and distinct at the same location opposite Georges outside Bevills Place on the High Street”.

Mr Marsh said: “Georges live music continues thanks to its supporters. However Fenland Council loses respect from a vast segment of the community with its verdict that the pub is somehow a ‘public nuisance’”.

Mr Marsh said he was angry that he was forced into an expensive hearing based on “very little evidence which was only ever hear say and where Councillor Owen jumped in without the right procedures being followed.

“But Georges believes it has won the dispute as no door staff have been forced to be taken on although we get the feeling Fenland Council does not understand or support small businesses.”

1 comment

  • It was a monumental fiasco from start to finish and a waste of time & Nigel's cash in legal fees. The Chair doesn't appear to keep up to date with amendments in the Licensing laws and tried to play down the vast public response in support of the bar by claiming they didn't live locally. A detailed report had explained that the troubles outside the bar was invariably due to revellers from other late night venues and suggested that the problem could be resolved if a Police presence was seen - and on Sat night - when Soulweaver were playing - a Police car was parked outside the bar.... Job done!

    Report this comment

    Mo Stewart

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

More news stories

Tory candidate for police commissioner Jason Ablewhite responds to questions at a hustings event in Wisbech. On his left is Nick Clarke, the UKIP candidate

Tory candidate Jason Ablewhite last night described critics attacking him over comments he posted on his Facebook page six years ago as being “desperate to muck rack”.

19:51
Operation Edison, Cambridgeshire Police conduct the last of 4 warrants searching for drugs., 
Ely, Littleport, 
29/04/2016
Picture by Terry Harris.

Yet more arrests were made in Littleport as the curtain came down on East Cambridgeshire Police’s latest operation in their crackdown on drug related crime - Operation Edison.

19:34
Police arrest a suspect (Mr Ian Clarke ) on for the offences of possessing class A and class B drugs  Operation Edison, Cambridgeshire Police conduct drug warrants at various addresses in Cambridgeshire,
71 Heron Croft, Soham
28/04/2016. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

A man was arrested in Soham last Thursday for possession of a class A and B drugs, alongside handling stolen goods as part of East Cambridgeshire Police’s latest crack-down.

18:28
Police enter the property. Operation Edison, Cambridgeshire Police conduct drug warrants at various addresses in Cambridgeshire,
85 Kingfisher Drive, Soham
27/04/2016. 
Picture by Terry Harris.

Two men were arrested for being in possession of a class B drug, namely cannabis, during a police raid in Soham.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Cambs Times e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up