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Licensing sub-committee revokes premises licence for breach of lockdown regulations

The Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee at City of Wolverhampton Council has revoked the premises licence of a pub for breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.

Using Microsoft Teams technology, the sub-committee met on 20 May 2020 to review the premises license of the Pendulum Pub in Blaydon Road, Pendeford.

The Pendulum was last month found to be operating behind closed doors and, following a full review hearing, the decision was made to revoke the licence. The council said it believed the sub-committee to be the first in the country to revoke a licence under the Regulations.

Acting on CCTV footage of the pub, West Midlands Police officers visited it to find customers being served alcohol within the premises on 6 April 2020, in breach of the regulations. The video evidence also demonstrated money being exchanged for drinks.

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The council was presented with a certificate from the Superintendent of West Midlands Police alleging serious crime and disorder on the basis that it was likely the continued opening of the pub amounted to the common law offence of public nuisance.

On a summary review decision on April 24, 2020, the sub-committee determined to impose interim steps of suspension on the premises pending the full review hearing.

The entire process was managed remotely using Microsoft Teams, with councillors, responsible authorities and lawyers dialling in, and the public able to watch via a live stream.

City of Wolverhampton Council’s litigation team supported both the responsible licensing authority on receipt of the initial application for summary review and advised the elected members of the sub-committee throughout the process.

Cllr Alan Bolshaw, Chair of Licensing Committee, said: “The council urges businesses to continue to adhere to the social distancing measures in place to protect the public.

“Having carefully considered all the evidence presented today the committee were emphatic that the behaviour displayed by this premises was totally unacceptable.

“Therefore, the decision was taken to revoke the premises licence.”

See also: Pubs and the lockdown regulations – by Gary Grant, counsel for West Midlands Police in this case.

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