Town centre bar licence revoked

The Edge, Queen Street,  Blackpool.
The Edge, Queen Street, Blackpool.
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A BAR has been stripped of its licence following a catalogue of complaints about violence and excessive drunkenness.

The Edge, on Queen Street, has been closed down by Blackpool Council after police officers told a town hall licensing hearing that nuisance behaviour at the venue peaked between the hours of 4am and 5am.

Evidence put before councillors included two assaults last year where victims suffered broken jaws, and one occasion where a male customer was found drunk and naked.

The panel also saw CCTV footage from February 24 this year, of a man being punched, and another customer exposing himself with no action being taken by door staff.

There was evidence of drug use, while the night spot - which has recently been renamed Oggies Bar - had also flouted health and safety rules.

Officers told how electrics had not been tested and a fire door was left wedged open.

Up until January this year, the bar had been run by Ian and Kelly Calvert who handed back their licence after the police applied for the review.

They said they had been “naive” about how difficult the premises were to control.

But the panel was told, the current licence hold Alan Ogden, had failed to address any of the issues.

Blackpool Council’s health and safety manager Mark Marshall, who inspected the bar, said: “There were 20 or 30 people in the premises, and a number of them were heavily intoxicated.

“Some presented themselves as street drinkers, and although there was no problem with them, it demonstrated the threshold of people being allowed into the premises.”

But James Swift, who owns the lease on the bar, said measures had been put in place to resolve the issues and health and safety concerns were being addressed.

He said: “The bulk of the issues are in regard to the previous tenant, and once we found out there were so many issues we have stepped in.

“Since taking it back over, every request for CCTV from the police has been met, and we have spent thousands of pounds addressing the safety concerns.

“But because of the scale of the problem, it has taken longer.”

Mr Ogden told the panel he was an experienced licensee, having previously been in charge at other Blackpool venues including The Jaggy Thistle and the Bierkeller.

He said: “Since taking over, we have tried to change things.

“We have introduced a dress code, we are closing at tea-time and then freshening the place up before opening for the night time, and we are increasing the prices of our day time drinks so they will be the most expensive on Queen Street, which we hope will deter certain individuals.”

Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for public protection, said: “Blackpool Council will not hesitate to review the licences of businesses which do not follow our licensing objectives and operate in a safe way.”

The venue has 21 days in which to appeal the decision.

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