Blackpool club ordered to shut for four weeks

Flamingo nightclub
Flamingo nightclub
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A popular Blackpool nightclub has been ordered to close its doors for four weeks to sort out its management problems following a licence hearing.

Police said Flamingo, on Queen Street, stayed open beyond its licenced hours, did not have enough door staff, served drinks nine minutes after its bars should have closed, and allowed guests to take drinks in from neighbouring nightclub, Buzz.

Club owner Basil Newby MBE

Club owner Basil Newby MBE

They also said they were concerned about crime and disorder in the Dickson Road area, and called the management at the club ‘chaotic’.

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Following the club’s licencing hearing on Tuesday, Blackpool Council said the licence to the club would be suspended for four weeks, and must expand its CCTV system to cover behind each bar.

Club owner Basil Newby MBE said it was likely he would appeal the decision to temporarily close the nightclub.

He said: “I’m very disappointed with the decision.

The four weeks wouldn’t be a nightmare for us because it would give us the chance to relaunch the place and do it up. Just the way the review was presented has left a bitter tastes in my mouth.

“I don’t think it was fair. To call our management shambolic after 30 years doing it, I think is a bit of an insult.

“I think it’s a shame that things have gone like this because I have had a good relationship with the police and an excellent relationship with the council.”

At the hearing, Mr Newby told councillors that he believed the temporary event notices the club needed to stay open unil 6am had been sorted out by a manager who had worked at the club for eight years, who has since left the position.

The panel heard the club’s plans to put forward its former DJ as a manager after the club’s former designated premises supervisor had walked out following a disagreement, only to return on a temporary basis.

In a report produced following the hearing, Sharon Davies, for head of Corporate Legal, wrote: “The panel is not confident that the new management structure they have been told about is strong enough to deal with issues a venue like this presents... this venue requires a manager who is experienced in managing late night venues such as this.

“Going further, the complete management structure needs revising so that the manager and general manager have clear roles and responsibilities.

“There also needs to be mechanisms for senior management to check that the licence conditions are being complied with.”

The report said opening hours for Flamingo would not be reduced as ‘incidents will occur whatever time it is open and even the act of refusing entry to a person too intoxicated to be granted admission can cause an incident resulting in a police log’.

However, it added: “All of the operators of late night economy need to work together with the police to try and resolve the issues.”