Business loses appeal against revoked alcohol licence

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A Milton Keynes business has lost its appeal to stop selling alcohol after losing its licence, following action by the police.

Milton Keynes Council’s licensing team had originally revoked the licence to sell alcohol at Fishermead Off Licence, Fishermead Boulevard, Fishermead last June, following an application by Thames Valley Police for the licence in place to be reviewed.

This followed breaches of the licence at the premises, which included underage sales, incorrect displays of spirits in the retail area, and incorrect signage regarding ID requirements

Thames Valley Police also raised concerns about CCTV equipment and concerns about underage and drunk sales taking place. The review application was supported by the Fishermead Parish Council and the local Samaritans branch, which was adversely affected by increased anti social behaviour following the opening of the shop in late 2010.

The shop owner, Mrs Mythil Prabaharan, appeared before city magistrates on Friday, to appeal the council decision to revoke the licence – but magistrates confirmed the original decision was correct. Costs of £12,000 were also awarded to the council.

Magistrates concluded that the presence of the shop undermined in particular the crime prevention objective under the Licensing laws and thus the decision to revoke the licence was a correct one. Although the licence had been revoked in June, the appeal process meant that alcohol could still be sold at the shop until the case was heard in Court. The decision last week meant that sale of alcohol then had to stop straightaway.

Councillor Stuart Burke, Chairman of Milton Keynes Council Licensing Committee, said: “As Licensing Authority we take breaches of licence conditions and under age sales very seriously and support the action taken by the Police and other agencies to control this.

“The Committee has shown that it will remove licenses where appropriate and it is good to see our decision in this case has been upheld by our local magistrates. Most licensees are responsible, with procedures and training in place to stop the supply of alcohol to underage people, and to comply with their legal obligations. But breaches of this will not be tolerated. “

Inspector Colleen Lavery, neighbourhood inspector for Fishermead, said: “We had a number of complaints from the public about the Fishermead Off-Licence. The shop attracted anti-social behaviour and sold alcohol to people under 18 and to people who were drunk. As a result, Police reviewed the premise license and I am pleased councillors made the decision to revoke it and this has been upheld by the courts and the shop will no longer act as a hub for anti social behaviour in the area.

“I hope this demonstrates that we will attempt to resolve community concerns which are brought to the attention of my team.”