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Wigton social club has licence revoked

West Street Social Club

A club in Wigton has had its premises licence revoked after a series of violent and disorderly incidents.

Allerdale Borough Council’s licensing panel met on 12 November to consider an application by Cumbria Police to have the licence at Wigton’s West Street Social Club revoked. The police can make an application such as this where they feel a premises is associated with serious crime and/or serious disorder.

Giving evidence, the police outlined 14 incidents which they had attended since January 2017, six of which had resulted in charges against individuals.

One incident on 13 October this year, which involved a fight between people armed with broken bottles and a knife, was considered so serious it led to the police requesting a fast-track review of the licence. The police can request this where they suspect the premises is associated with serious crime and/or serious disorder. As a result, the licensing panel met within 48 hours of the application, on 17 October, where they agreed to suspend the licence pending this week’s full hearing.

Speaking before the panel, Police Sergeant Mitchell Franks, said: “What is clear to [the] police is that the venue has been and continues to be a magnet for the criminal fraternity of Wigton to act in a fashion that puts the public at danger. It continues to be used as a location for their feuding to be played out. This should not be allowed to continue… Police have determined that the only sensible course of action is for revocation of the premises licence.”

The police did outline conditions they would recommend be imposed on the premises if the decision was taken not to revoke the licence. This included having four doormen on the premises every night, and using plastic glasses for all drinks.

Attending on behalf of the club was the current premises licence holder, Mr Jordan Calvert. He expressed concerns that some of the proposed conditions if they were to be imposed would be financially impractical on most nights. The club’s owner Malcolm Wilson did not attend the hearing.

Panel member Cllr Annison, questioned whether closure of the club risked moving trouble to other pubs. However, Sergeant Franks said that he didn’t think this was a problem as the other pubs in Wigton were better run.

After deliberation, the panel agreed to revoke the premises licence. The decision can be appealed in the magistrate’s court within 21 days of the decision.

However, the panel also agreed to continue to suspend the licence during the time allowed for an appeal.

Panel chair, Cllr Angela Kendall, said: “The Panel is satisfied that it is appropriate to revoke the premises licence in the interests of promoting the licensing objectives, in particular the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety. The Panel is satisfied that the other options available to it would be insufficient to ensure promotion of the licensing objectives, based on the number and seriousness of the incidents which have occurred at the premises. The panel does not consider that any of the other options available to it would be sufficient for promotion of the licensing objectives.”

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