Snooker club sees red over licence review

PUBLISHED: 11:06 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

Kingsley Snooker Club

Kingsley Snooker Club

THE owner of a snooker club is to appeal against the outcome of a licensing review. The licence was granted to Kingsley Snooker Club in Hitchin Street, Baldock, on the basis that conditions put forward by a council committee and Hertfordshire police were

THE owner of a snooker club is to appeal against the outcome of a licensing review.

The licence was granted to Kingsley Snooker Club in Hitchin Street, Baldock, on the basis that conditions put forward by a council committee and Hertfordshire police were met.

But the snooker club owner is appealing against these for reasons including cost, health and safety and reasonable treatment for his type of business.

Judy Brunson, personal assistant to club owner Don Thomas, said: "We'll be going through the normal channels and appealing within 21 days."

The 26 conditions were made after police grew concerned that the club failed to meet licensing objectives of public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance.

Conditions include recruiting a minimum of two SIA approved door staff to be on duty at the premises on weekend evenings and for functions, a CCTV system that covers all areas, seven days notice to the police for a private party, and the gates on the boundary with Park Street to be locked by 9pm at night.

Failure to comply with these could result in a £20,000 fine or six months in prison.

Ms Brunson said: "They've said we need two security guards on Saturday night, three if we have a function.

"We think that's totally unacceptable. We are not a nightclub and the average number at our functions is 70.

"They've also requested that the top gate be shut at 9pm. People are not only coming then but leaving at the same time.

"They would have to reverse out onto Hitchin Street and it would be a health and safety issue."

Residents near the club have previously complained about criminal activity and disturbance within the neighbourhood and have filed representation forms, petitions and criminal activity logs.

The review, undertaken last Thursday by North Herts District Council's licensing and appeals committee, took over four hours before a decision was made.

The club will appeal within 21 days and will then wait for the next part of the process to begin.

Geoff Camp, neighbourhood police inspector for Letchworth GC, Baldock and Royston, said: "For months we've been trying to work with the club to reduce unacceptable and disproportionate levels of crime, disorder and nuisance.

"However, it became clear that the club was either unwilling or unable to deal with the issues residents, the police and others have been raising.

"I visited the club several times over the Christmas period and was far from happy with what I observed. I lodged a representation with the licensing authority which saw fit to impose a series of restrictive conditions.

"I am very pleased with the result and satisfied that these will help the club to help itself. I would like to thank residents and others who supported the police case."

Clive Reader, neighbourhood sergeant, said: "The police response to this type of issue has to be proportionate and incremental.

"Officers, including myself, visited the club on many occasions and tried to prompt change but the response was limited.

"It is regrettable that the police had to take this necessary action. The vast majority of licensed premises are well run and respond positively to any police intervention.

"The powers of review exist for the occasional exception, such as this one.


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