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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Council to decide on fate of troubled Cumbrian pub

A troubled Workington pub, which was ordered to slash its opening hours last year, will find out its fate this week.

Following a licensing panel review last September, Padua House was issued with a number of conditions after police found 80 drunk 15-year-olds on the premises.

The opening hours were cut by an hour, a Challenge 30 ID policy was brought in and alcohol had to be sold in plastic glasses.

But in May, after the Washington Street pub owners brought in a new licensee, Allerdale Council agreed to a six-month trial period to relax the conditions by allowing longer opening hours and bringing in a Challenge 25 scheme.

As the trial period has now ended, the licensees, Robyn McDowell and Christopher Pool, want to make the changes permanent.

But Cumbria police are objecting, saying that the bar is still a hotspot for crime and if the variation to the licence were granted, it would have a “negative impact”.

Sergeant Mandy Conway said in a letter to Allerdale’s licensing panel: “Since the police last made representations in relation to Padua House in May 2012 there have been a number of incidents reported that relate to the pub still regularly failing to achieve a number of the licensing objectives.”

Sgt Conway has listed seven incidents that have happened in or around Padua’s since May, including fights, people being drunk and disorderly, and assaults.

But a representative of Milburns Solicitors, on behalf of Padua’s, said that the extra hours of trading since May have “passed by without any serious incidents” through a “very challenging period of the year”.

The representative said that since May an inspection had been carried out by Allerdale Council and Cumbria Constabulary and all was found to be in order with no advice offered on potential improvements.

He also added that since May extra door supervisors had been employed and improvements made to the CCTV system.

He also said that the majority of the incidents that the police had put forward did not relate to the premises.

If the licensing panel agree to the changes when they meet on Wednesday, Padua’s will be able to serve alcohol and provide entertainment until 3am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and until 2am on Sunday nights, with closing time half an hour later.

The bar’s Challenge 30 ID policy to a Challenge 25 scheme and regulated entertainment of films would be added.

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