Over the weekend of the 30 and 31 May 2020, three pubs took the decision to open for off-sales, the Blues Bar, Three’s a Crowd and the Coach & Horses.
Police and HBC Licensing visited the premises at the time and found drinking on the street by all three venues, but also pub furniture from the Coach & Horses.
The Blues Bar and Three’s a Crowd took the decision to close. Further action was taken against the Coach & Horses as they didn’t take instruction.
- The pub was given notice by Harrogate Borough Council on the 4 June 2020 that they were reviewing the licence which broke coronavirus regulations despite being advised not to.
- Formal notice has been served on the Coach and Horses public house on West Park, Harrogate informing the landlord that a licence review is underway.
- Action was taken jointly by the borough council and North Yorkshire (3 June) after the pub had continued to trade in breach of coronavirus laws.
- Advice was given to three pubs in Harrogate town centre over the weekend after concerns were received by the council’s enforcement team.
- Licensing officers said they felt threatened when they visited the premises.
The Harrogate Borough Council Licensing sub-committee met today (22 July 2020) in an online meeting.
The grounds for the review was:
- The prevention of crime and disorder, the protection of public safety and public nuisance
- Mr Nelson has repeatedly breached the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (As amended) and also a Prohibition Notice issued under those Regulations.
- Mr Nelson has repeatedly breached a licence condition which requires that, “No customer will be permitted to take open containers of alcohol or soft drinks from the premises”.
- Mr Nelson has not taken appropriate steps to protect either of the licensing objectives even when asked or required to do so.
- North Yorkshire Police Licensing team made representation “It is the view of North Yorkshire Police that the Premises Licence should be revoked and would respectfully direct members to Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998“ it shall be the duty of each authority to which the section applies to do all it reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder in its area.”
- The full details can be found here
Mitigation from licensee, Anthony Robert john Nelson
- Was sorry for wasting the time of police and licencing officers
- Mr Nelson has said he made a chronic error of judgement and was embarrassed.
- He apologized for what had happened and hoped that 33 years as licensee would be taken into account.
- He said £3,000 charitable proceedings were raised, and although Horticap would not longer accept the money, they would still be donated to charity.
- That when they were open they had used a one way system and was actively encouraging social distancing.
- Was intending to stand down immediately if the licence was retained for the premises.
- At the time had been suffering from a health issue and that had affected his judgement
The committee concluded that:
Mr Nelson had fallen foul of obligations as a licensee on the grounds of safety, nuisance, crime and disorder.
They said there had been blatant disregard with serious failings. That was even after North Yorkshire Police and Harrogate Borough Council had instructed them to stop.
The committee took the decision to revoke the premises licence
An appeal can be made to the magistrates, but within 21 days.
Superintendent Steve Thomas, commander for the Harrogate area said:
While we still work hard alongside our partners to ensure we keep the public safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19, I hope this extremely strong message resonates with other licence holders and event organisers.
The additional strain placed on public services as a result of restriction breaches means resources that are unable to attend to more important calls for help.
We all want our local businesses and night-time economy to get back to normal however we expect those involved to work with us, to empathise with the difficult situation we still all face and to make the right decisions to keep everyone safe and prevent a second period of lockdown at all costs.