Trader blamed for booze issue

The Abingdon News and Booze and (below) the sign in the stall's window warning about drinking outside.

The Abingdon News and Booze and (below) the sign in the stall's window warning about drinking outside.

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A MARKET trader is being hauled before a licence review panel following claims he is selling booze to drinkers causing anti-social behaviour in Blackpool town centre.

Blackpool Council, supported by the police, has called for a review of Arvindbhai Gandhi’s licence at Abingdon News and Booze amid claims the small newsagents has been selling alcohol to nuisance drinkers who are “pestering” the market’s customers.

The sign in the window of Abingdon News and Booze warning about drinking outside.

The sign in the window of Abingdon News and Booze warning about drinking outside.

But Mr Gandhi, who has been running the Abingdon Street Market stall with his wife, Kailasben, for around two and a half years, said efforts had already been made to curb problems from his customers outside his stall in Cedar Square.

He says it is “unfair” he has been dragged before a town hall panel.

He said: “We have got pictures of people who are alcoholics and who are banned and we are not serving them.

“We are already doing what they want us to do. It’s not fair really they are taking us to the council.

“We have signs already asking people not to drink outside, and we’ve stopped serving lots of people who were causing problems.”

The licence review has been brought by Mark Marshall, from the council’s licensing department, and the review application states investigations into the shop began after concerns were raised by the local neighbourhood policing team and market management about a rise in street drinkers “pestering customers” at the market.

A police statement describes a “steady stream” of people visiting the stall in the morning to purchase alcohol and single cans of strong lager.

And the review papers claim, despite being warned not to serve problem street drinkers back in September, the Gandhis have been spotted on three occasions serving people they had been requested not to sell alcohol to.

The review will be heard at Blackpool Town Hall on Monday, January 28.

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