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Challenge 30 ID policy might spell the end for Cumbrian pub

Landlords of a Workington pub claim that demands for them to slash an hour off their serving time and a ‘challenge 30 policy’ will force them to call time on their business.

Padua boss photo
Nikki Mitchell

Padua’s in Washington Street was slapped with the conditions following a licensing panel review on Friday which was demanded by police after about 80, fifteen-year-olds were found drunk on the premises on June 24.

The licensing panel ruled that the pub must stop serving alcohol at 2am rather than 3am and that no-one under the age of 18 is to be allowed in after 9pm and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult before 9pm.

Members also ruled that the pub must operate a ‘challenge 30 policy’ and must sell all drink out of plastic containers.

Nikki Mitchell was the designated premises superviser at the time but was replaced by his sister Gemma Mitchell on August 12 after calls from the police for him to step down.

Nikki’s wife and business partner Karen Mitchell said: “Between 1am and 3am is when we get most of our business and I don’t think we will be able to survive it.

“Christmas is coming up and that’s a busy time.”

Raymond Mitchell, who heads up the financial side of the family business and is also licensee of the Miners’ Arms, insisted that many of the youngsters had been drinking on the street before they came into Padua’s.

He said: “I honestly think we were set up on this one. A lot of these people had been drinking on the street before they got into the pubs and are already wasted by the time they get into these places.

“I don’t think it’s fair because we have done our utmost and it was us who invited the police down when we saw that the situation was getting out of hand.

“The councillors and the police should start at the schools and work backwards to the landlords.”

He added that he would start talks with a solicitor with a view to appealing against the decision.

Current licensee Gemma Mitchell said that practices had been put in place to make sure incidents like that in June did not happen again, including a ‘challenge 30’ policy.

She added that there would be regular meetings with door and bar staff and that Padua’s would comply fully with the ruling of the licensing panel.

After the result of the hearing Sergeant Farnworth, of the Community Safety Team in west Cumbria, said: “I hope that this sends out a very clear message to any other premises license holders who may be tempted to hold such events.

“Our work will continue in this area, because selling alcohol to juveniles is a serious matter.

“It not only raises the chances of antisocial behaviour but also causes health issues for youngsters who drink alcohol.

“We will look into any other licensed premises in west Cumbria who have been hosting sixth form parties, because the majority of the people attending will be under age.”

The party at Padua’s, in Washington Street, followed months of complaints to police that staff were serving youngsters who were under 18.

Have your say

It's true - the older we (ourselves) get, the younger kids appear to be. Just take a look at any years apprentice intake or school leavers list - although when they dress for the prom they certainly look older.

Posted by Derek on 4 October 2011 at 12:34

I know there are underage because I know the kids that I have seen in the pubs and chased out. The trouble on peter street is no worse, well you want to try living there. How come h and heffers had such a bad name, and not know? my life is misery.

Posted by bell on 3 October 2011 at 23:11

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