Glass ban is revoked at bar despite police fears
Cricketer nearly lost an eye in brawl at nightspot
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.
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