Birmingham City Council Licensing Committee this week made a decision to extend licensing hours for the Bugle Horn pub.
The original application, to remain open until 2am daily, had been revised and instead the committee had before them an application for opening until 12.30am Sunday to Thursday and 1.30pm Friday and Saturday.
Despite representations from local residents, councillors, MP and others opposing the application, it was granted on the grounds that there was no evidential reason to refuse it, in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.
The new opening hours, 10am–12.30am Sunday to Thursday and 10am – 1.30am on Friday and Saturday, have been granted as long as the licensee adheres to several conditions laid down by the committee.
The conditions, reported from this morning’s meeting by Cllr Ian Cruise, are as follows:
1: Licensable activities – sale of alcohol & playing of live/rec music – to cease 30 minutes before official closing time.
2: Amplified levels of music shall not exceed levels agreed with Environmental Health.
3: Large signage to be erected inside and outside of the Bugle Horn, asking patrons to show due consideration for the local area and its residents.
4: All litter to be cleared up before the start of each trading day.
5: Doors and Windows must be closed and qualified security staff to work on the door when all entertainment takes place.
6: CCTV to be extended to cover a wider area than the entrance.
7: The licensee also agreed to remove from the application any extended hours on Bank/Public Holidays.
Cllr Cruise said: “At licensing today I put forward the concerns of local residents regarding the Bugle Horn licence application.
“Due to the concerns of local residents & local elected representatives, the committee had no choice but to modify the licence. I would have wished for the opening hours to have remained the same, but the committee stated there was no evidential cause to refuse the licence application. As the committee is quasi-judicial & governed by the law of the land, the committee could only act within the Boundary of the licensing act.”
And Cllr Cruise reassured local residents that local councillors will continue to keep a close eye on things: “I will be meeting the Designated Premises Supervisor in the near future with a view to arranging monthly meeting with residents. The local elected representatives will be monitoring the conditions of licence closely & ask residents to get in touch if issues arise.”
There was a mixed reaction from residents of the area on our Facebook page, some being pleased and others being worried about the effect the late licence may have on noise and anti-social behaviour.
And the decision sparked a political row between local politicians as Conservative party council campaigner Derek Johnson quickly sent out a leaflet to local residents pointing out that the decision had been made by the “Labour-run Licensing Committee of Birmingham City Council”.
Longbridge Labour Councillor Ian Cruise, who was opposed to the extended opening hours, was quick to point out that the licensing committee is made up of representatives of all parties on the council and plays a semi-judicial role, implementing licences in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 and that this was in no way a political decision. In a blog post on the issue, Cllr Cruise said: “To say that Licensing makes decisions on a political basis – Tories and Lib Dems also sit on sub committees – is nothing short of a disgrace.”
We contacted prospective parliamentary candidate for Northfield Rachel Maclean, who was also opposed to the extended licence, for a comment on this issue but have yet to receive a reply.