Nightclub faces battle for survival after council suspends licence

Elliott Simpson outside Uber in Poulton
Elliott Simpson outside Uber in Poulton

A nightclub is today facing a fight for its future after it was suddenly shut down.

Uber in Poulton was immediately closed on Friday when Wyre Council suspended its licence.

It came after ‘serious’ concerns raised by police following an alleged attack at the club.

It is the latest blow to the club’s owner Elliot Simpson who saw his personal licence suspended last year.

Managers and Uber’s legal representatives were due for a fresh showdown with licensing chiefs today after they appealed the shock decision.

The Gazette understands Lancashire Police has raised several concerns over the Vicarage Road venue and the force has confirmed it is investigating an allegation of assault at the nightspot.

Wyre Council confirmed the nightclub’s licence was suspended temporarily on Friday pending a full hearing, which must take place within the next 28 days.

A spokesman said: “On December 9 the Licensing Sub-committee met to determine an application for a Summary Review submitted by Lancashire Constabulary.

“The grounds for review are that in the opinion of a senior police officer the premises are associated with serious crime or serious disorder or both, as the result of incidents that have taken place on the premises.

“The committee decision was to take the interim step of immediate suspension of the premises licence pending a full review hearing.”

Coun Simon Bridge, chairman of the licensing committee at Wyre Council, said the decision had been taken on the strength of the evidence presented.

He said: “We do not take these decisions lightly.

“It would have to be serious for us to do something like this. We would have to ask if it was necessary and proper.

“Uber has a right for us to review what has happened and we will do that.

“We will listen to the case they and their legal representatives have to make and we will again listen to what the police have to say.

“We will look at the situation with fresh eyes.”

Club owner Elliot Simpson was last year found guilty of assaulting a man on his premises.

Following his conviction, in December last year, Mr Simpson transferred the premises licence for Uber to the club’s manager. Since then the manager has acted as the designated premises supervisor for the venue.

Mr Simpson. 46, was fined £1,100 with £620 costs, and ordered to pay a £520 court charge with £110 victims’ surcharge, plus £100 compensation for the victim. He was also given an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting his victim.

His personal licence was suspended for three months.

He declined to comment on the current situation at Uber, pending the outcome of today’s hearing.

Uber, which opened in 2012 on the site of the former Residence club, has several Christmas and New Year events planned which will be under threat if the licence suspension is upheld.