Glass ban is re­voked at bar de­spite po­lice fears

Crick­eter nearly lost an eye in brawl at nightspot

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Repton Manor Barn - By Vicky Castle

Glasses can re­turn to a bar af­ter a li­cens­ing com­mit­tee de­cided it would not have to keep us­ing plas­tic.

A li­cens­ing hear­ing heard a crick­eter was lucky not to lose his eye in a late-night brawl at the Auc­tion House, in New Street, Ash­ford.

Sgt Gary Brim­son said Lan­cashire county crick­eter Liam Liv­ing­stone suf­fered three deep cuts to his face dur­ing a brawl in­side the bar on Au­gust 16. He was said to have been glassed in the face.

The of­fi­cer was giv­ing ev­i­dence to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil’s li­cens­ing com­mit­tee last Wed­nes­day at a full re­view of the town cen­tre nightspot’s li­cence af­ter po­lice said it was linked with se­ri­ous crime.

But coun­cil­lors de­cided or­der­ing the bar to only serve drinks in plas­tic cups – which staff had al­ready been do­ing as an emer­gency mea­sure – was “not a pro­por­tion­ate re­sponse to the events that oc­curred.”

Sgt Brim­son also told the com­mit­tee that po­lice had re­ceived 23 calls re­lat­ing to prob­lems at the premises be­tween Jan­uary 1 and Au­gust 1 – an av­er­age of one a week – and that was why they were ask­ing for the li­cence to be re­viewed.

Ni­cholas Bal­dock, bar­ris­ter for Alan Daly, owner of the Auc­tion House, said the inci- dents were mostly out­side the bar, in­volv­ing peo­ple re­fused en­try.

He said that none of these 23 in­ci­dents in­volved glass and so to im­ple­ment a plas­ti­conly rule would be a dis­pro­por­tion­ate re­sponse, adding that it would put peo­ple off and hin­der the rep­u­ta­tion of an up­mar­ket des­ti­na­tion.

Mem­bers also heard from two cus­tomers, Sa­muel Shan­non and Paul Fel­lows, who both said that drink­ing their £4 pints from plas­tic glasses would ruin the taste.

Af­ter two hours of de­lib­er­a­tions, Cllr Neil Shorter, chair­man of the li­cens­ing sub-com­mit­tee, said the coun­cil was not go­ing to make the bar use plas­tic glasses.

Cllr Shorter said: “The premises took the mat­ter of crime and dis­or­der se­ri­ously and sought to re­solve neg­a­tive in­ci­dents swiftly and ef­fec­tively.

“Mov­ing for­ward, we have con­fi­dence that the li­cence holder ac­knowl­edges his short­com­ings, has put steps in place to rec­tify the same and will con­tinue to work with the po­lice and the li­cens­ing au­thor­ity.”

Un­der its cur­rent li­cence, The Auc­tion House is able to play mu­sic and sell al­co­hol un­til 3am, seven days a week.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

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