Fens publican Nigel Marsh says 'thanks but no thanks' to council interview under caution for alleged health and safety breaches

PUBLISHED: 16:56 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:38 07 September 2017

Publican Nigel Marsh says his bar staff are all provided with protective ear muffs but it is their choice whether to wear them.

Publican Nigel Marsh says his bar staff are all provided with protective ear muffs but it is their choice whether to wear them.

Archant

Publican Nigel Marsh said 'thank you but no thank you' after council bosses invited him to a voluntary interview under caution over alleged health and safety issues.

Publican Nigel Marsh says his bar staff are all provided with protective ear muffs but it is their choice whether to wear them. Publican Nigel Marsh says his bar staff are all provided with protective ear muffs but it is their choice whether to wear them.

He said he was working through the list of issues raised by environmental officers and was already providing ear muffs to bar staff when heavy metal bands play live.

Mr Marsh, who runs Georges in March, said much of what was required of him by Fenland Council was “the normal red tape stuff. We haven’t disagreed with anything they’ve raised and are busy working through them”.

He said he was concerned at about attending a meeting – arranged for next Tuesday at the One Stop Shop in Broad Street – which was to be carried out in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and audio recorded.

“The key thing is they haven’t told me what questions they want to ask,” he said. “There’s no point being interviewed and recorded when all they have do is to email me questions and I will answer them.

“I don’t like traps – and honestly this sounds like one.”

Justin Hanson, environmental health officer, told Mr Marsh that following a site inspection with a colleague they found “matters which require attention”.

Mr Marsh produced the council’s documents which list 22 areas of concern but he insists all have either being dealt with or are being remedied quickly.

Items raised by FDC officials include:

•The need for a risk assessment procedure to be introduced

•Electrical defects

•Trip hazards – including pipes trailing across the floor behind the bar

•Updated training of staff in health and safety

•Noise assessments to be logged and those staff who need them to be offered ear protection

•Improved wash facilities in the ladies rest room – including towels

•Antiseptics provided for the first aid kit

•Repairs to a picnic bench in the beer garden “where the timber seating was loose. This needs to be secured”.

Mr Marsh said all his staff was provided with ear muffs when they need them and it was their choice to use them.

The publican has also been told by Mr Hanson that there remains an issue of ensuring doors are kept shut when loud music is being played.

Mr Hanson said when the door remains closed “we have not witnessed an unreasonable level of noise given the nature of the area in which you are located.”

He said there have been regular complaints from two separate residents but over the Bank Holiday a third complainant contacted the council alleging the noise caused their home to vibrate.

“The commitment to keeping the doors shut is actually in operating schedule of the licence and is a requirement,” said Mr Hanson.

He warned Mr Marsh that he was putting a file together to request a review of the premises licence but if action was taken this could be avoided.

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