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Masthead Local Govt - Licensing

Council defends decision to revoke premises licence after test purchase failures

A borough council in the North West has successfully defended a decision of its licensing sub-committee to revoke the premises for an off licence after a number of test purchase failures.

The police had submitted a review application for Today’s Local, 92 Lord Street, Fleetwood in October 2017.

In a first for Wyre Council, the review application was supported by four responsible authorities: Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the Licensing Authority.

The licensing sub committee heard evidence that children were able to buy alcohol at the store on two successive test purchase operations and that Trading Standards had also seized 39 bottles of Glens vodka with counterfeit duty paid labels.

An explosion had also occurred in the shop which injured a member of staff, after gas canisters which were being stored too close to a heater exploded.

The sub committee decided to revoke the licence on 6 December 2017. Arumugam Kalamohan, the licence holder, lodged an appeal.

The store then failed a further test purchase in March 2018, during the currency of the appeal.

Officers from all of the responsible authorities who were involved in the original hearing gave evidence during the two day hearing at Manchester Magistrates Court.

District Judge James Hatton declared that the council’s decision was correct last December and confirmed that the revocation of the licence was a valid, proportionate and appropriate response.

He ordered Kalamohan to pay the council £5,923.46 towards their costs in defending the appeal.

Cllr Julie Robinson, Chair of the council’s Licensing Committee said “We are delighted that the District Judge has upheld our decision to revoke this licence. Selling alcohol carries a high degree of responsibility and this shop repeatedly failed to prevent children from buying alcohol, even after we took the decision to revoke the licence.

"I would also like to thank our partner agencies whose support throughout this process has demonstrated the effectiveness of partnership working here in Wyre to tackle irresponsible alcohol sales.”

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