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Bridport bar has to curtail its hours
THE landlord of a Bridport bar threatened with the loss of his licence has said he’s been made a scapegoat and may not survive trading restrictions.
Paul Hindes of No 10 kept his licence but had its opening hours cut following a West Dorset District Council’s licensing sub committee ruling.
Police had raised concerns about customers’ safety.
Bridport Insp Mike Darby said: “It was unfortunate that we had to go to the licensing review committee with regards the management of No 10.
“However, this was done purely because of our grave concerns regarding the safety of their customers due to fire regulations and getting in and out of the premises in addition to other breaches.
“Hopefully the committee’s new conditions will be adhered to so that people can continue enjoy the bar and the risk to them has now been significantly reduced.”
No 10 will now have to close at midnight not 2am, have two doormen on duty after 10pm, limit numbers to 60 and have CCTV.
Following the meeting bar owner Mr Hindes said his business was being unfairly singled out.
He said: “We do feel like we are taking the rap for every other pub in town because we don’t have trouble inside the pub, it is out on the street when the others are kicking out.
“We don’t let them in when they are drunk and out of control, that’s what we have a doorman for.
“I do resent being the only place in town that has to close at midnight. The police have continually set the bar higher in the restrictions they have placed on us until they have made them impossible to jump over.
“We have to regulate what goes on in our pub every hour that we are open unlike every other pub in Dorset.
“We are on route home for all the drunks from every pub in town and when they conglomerate on the street it is nothing to do with us.”
He said he and his staff have very often resolved conflicts, but they didn’t mean the pub was the cause of them.
He added he would not make a snap decision but he may have to consider the future of his business in the light of the latest restrictions.
Divisional licensing officer for Dorset Police Karen O’Donnell claimed officers had counted as many as 89 people in the bar on one occasion last June and, as well as problems with obtaining CCTV footage on a number of occasions, there was also evidence of people entering after 1am.
More than 50 people sent in representations supporting the bar and both members of the public and local councillors spoke at the meeting to voice their support.
Mr Hindes’ legal representative Paul Hester told the committee that his client accepted there had been ‘occasional, minor and unintentional breaches’ of the licence.
Mr Hindes added: “We will give it a go but it could make it financially impossible for us to survive.”
He also thanked all those in the town who had supported No 10.