Troubled bar lodges appeal

19. března 2013 v 10:01 |  LED downlight
THE landlord of a trouble-hit bar revealed today he is appealing against a decision by Blackpool Council to close the premises down.

Oggies Bar on Queen Street in the resort had its licence revoked earlier this month by councillors who heard there had been a raft of violent incidents there.

But Alan Ogden, who only took charge of the premises in January this year, said he would be lodging an appeal against the ruling and claimed he had not been given enough chance to turn the nightspot around.

He said: "I am going to lodge an appeal and in the meantime we are still open."

A lot of the problems were down to the old tenant and when I re-opened the bar, a lot of the old customers who were the ones causing the trouble, were still coming in.

But now we have made a lot of changes.We have new door security and a refusal button on the till so we can show the police when we have refused drunks.

We have also recruited new staff who have all done their Challenge 25 training in connection with refusing to serve under-age drinkers, and there are also four members of staff who are personal licence holders.

"On top of that, all the electrical testing which had not been done, has now been done."

A council panel revoked the licence following a town hall hearing on March 6, but the venue had 21 days in which to lodge an appeal. It is allowed to remain open until any appeal is heard.

Evidence put before councillors by the police, who had called for the licence to be reviewed, included two assaults last year where victims suffered broken jaws, and one occasion where a male customer was found drunk and naked.

The panel also saw CCTV footage from February 24 this year, of a man being punched, and another customer exposing himself with no action being taken by door staff.

Up until January this year, the bar had been run by Ian and Kelly Calvert who handed back their licence after the police applied for the review.

They said they had been "naive" about how difficult the premises were to control.

Mr Ogden, who has previously been in charge at other Blackpool venues including The Jaggy Thistle and the Bierkeller, said he had not been given long enough to make the required changes at the bar.

He added: "It takes time to get things up to scratch."

"We have also changed 38 emergency lighting fittings and we have refurbished the cellar of the premises in full."

"I felt I was not given enough chance to turn it around, but we are getting there now. "I want our customers to know we are still open as normal, with karaoke on seven days a week."

The council's health and safety team also gave evidence at the hearing, raising a number of issues in relation to electrical testing which had been overlooked.

"The event is family-friendly and is truly a team-building experience," he said. "All stadium and street lights will be turned off. The lighting volunteers alone will be responsible for how well that part of the building is illuminated. When they see the resulting photograph, they will recognize their accomplishment. With this image being made available to the world, they will have pride in their part in making it happen."

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