It saddens me when the reporting of a licensing application is not reported accurately within your newspaper resulting in a distorted version being given,which makes the sub committee of the Licensing Committee appear to be uncaring and silly.
The application of a Licence on the Kingsway Estate reported in the Chad does not give a true picture what occurred.
The sub-Licensing Committee has to adhere to the Licensing Act 2003 and as there were NO CONFIRMED committed crimes reported to the Police in that area relevant to the application and no evidence to substantiate the claims by the objectors led by David Arnold the committee could only adhere to the rules of the Licensing Act 2003 and approve the application.
The objectors were told by myself that I would see Chief Inspector Andrew Clarke with Mr Arnold’s comments and hopefully address the vandalism and drugs issue that appeared to be the concern of the objectors, not the competition of another shop selling similar goods.
The statement about no Kirkby councillors on the committee is common in all applications. Councillors in respective cards cannot sit on a committee in the card they represent, so the statement indicating they were “disgusted that a Kirkby councillor was not on the committee” had no bearing on the decision to grant the application.
If the licence had been rejected the applicant would have been able to attend the magistrates court to appeal against the decision, and again due to lack of evidence and no police representation supporting the objection, invariably the licence would have been granted and Ashfield District Council would have had to answer why we had not followed the principles of the Licensing Act 2003.
The hours of the application were reduced by the applicant after questions from the committee to 11pm which is standard for some shops in Kirkby centre and the objectors were told they can ask for a review if the licensing laws are not adhered to by the applicant of the new licence.
I hope this will resolve the reason why the application was approved but if any A.S.B. or drug problem exists please call the police, since nothing can be acted on without evidence.
Councillor Ray Buttery
Sutton West District
Editor’s Comment: We are always happy to clarify matters and set the record straight, but our report of this application was in no way distorted - it simply gave both sides of the argument. We clearly stated police said they had no record of crime problems in the area and so had no objections to the application. However we also reported comments from a residents’ representative that there ARE local concerns about vandalism and drugs, that police are stepping up patrols to ease anxiety and their plea for residents to report all crime to them.