Harrogate pub faces licence review after breaking rules on social distancing says council

Harrogate Borough Council is reviewing the licence of a Harrogate pub which it says broke coronavirus regulations despite being advised not to.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 10:28 am
Facing a licence review - The Coach & Horses in Harrogate.

Formal notice has been served on the Coach and Horses public house on West Park, Harrogate informing the landlord that a licence review is underway.

Action was taken jointly by the borough council and North Yorkshire Police yesterday (June 3) after they say the pub had continued to trade in breach of coronavirus laws.

Advice was given to three pubs in Harrogate town centre over the weekend after concerns were received by the council’s enforcement team.

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The licensee of one of the venues – the Coach and Horses – initially accepted the advice given by the council on Saturday, but then broke the regulations again on Sunday.

The council issued a prohibition notice to the pub the same day and in doing so officers were subjected to verbal abuse from customers.

Despite the prohibition notice, the pub continued to trade in the same way.

Council officers and police officers returned to the premises yesterday (June 3) to serve notice of the licence review.

More information about the process is available on the council’s website at: www.harrogate.gov.uk/licensing.

Members of the public have the opportunity to take part in the review as well as responsible authorities such as the police.

As a result of the review the licensee of the pub could have their licence amended or revoked.

The landlord of the Coach and Horses, and two other pubs in Harrogate town centre, have now agreed to remain closed until government further eases the coronavirus restrictions.

The council, accompanied by North Yorkshire Police, will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend and again take enforcement action if necessary.

Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said: “Even after officers visited the Coach and Horses pub, and advised the landlord of their responsibilities, they still felt the need to continue breaching coronavirus regulations. Sadly, this has now resulted in the review of the pub’s licence.

“These regulation are there to protect our communities. They are there to help prevent the spread of coronavirus that is putting an incredible strain on the NHS, and the doctors and nurses who are working tirelessly to care for our loved ones.

“We know businesses are suffering as a result of this lockdown and we are doing all that we can to support them and provide a level playing field. If any business fails to comply with these rules we will use all the enforcement powers available to us.”

Sergeant Jackie Booth, force licensing manager at North Yorkshire Police said: “We’ll continue to work with partners, like the borough council, to ensure businesses operate in accordance with their licensing conditions and the current government guidance to keep communities safe.”

The regulations do not permit consumption of food or alcohol on the premises (including outdoor areas), or provision of seating for use by customers anywhere adjacent to the premises.*

Pubs (and other food businesses) are only allowed to open for takeaway food and drink so long as they follow very strict social distancing and trading guidelines.

The same rules apply equally to cafes, restaurants and hotels, even where they are in garden centres or open gardens.

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