Pub’s licence suspension ‘sends clear message’, says police inspector

A HAWICK pub has been forced to shut up shop after its licence was suspended for three months at Friday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

The call for action came in a report from Lothian and Borders Police which urged councillors to review the premises licence of Frankie’s Bar at 14 Bourtree Place. The hearing at Newtown was heard in private because it concerned “matters which are still being dealt with in the criminal court”.

However, board chairman Councillor Gavin Logan said the unanimous decision to suspend the pub’s licence had been taken “on the grounds of breaches of the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety and preventing public nuisance”.

After the meeting, which was attended by co-licensee Joanne McFarlane, police inspector John Scott, who had presented a report on various alleged incidents which had occurred over recent months at or around the premises, told TheSouthern: “There is a clear relationship between alcohol and offending in the Borders and everyone involved in the sale and supply of alcohol has an obligation to maintain high standards in the running of their premises.

“This [Frankie’s Bar] has been a premises which has not met these high standards.”

Inspector Scott, who is head of the safer communities team in the Borders, said the police welcomed the board’s decision.

“This sends out a clear message ... that the standards set out in the terms and conditions of premises licences must be met,” he added.

The board also went into private session to consider a police report urging a review of the personal licence of Charlotte Cloquhoun, whose address was given as Abbey Court, Melrose. Councillors agreed to revoke her licence.

Earlier, in the public session, the board refused to grant a personal licence to Colin Kerr of Stirling Street, Galashiels.

In his application, when invited to outline relevant convictions which were not spent, Mr Kerr stated he had been fined £1,000 and banned from driving for 18 months for drink-driving at Haddington Sheriff Court in September 2010.

However, a police report, urging refusal of the application, revealed that Mr Kerr had failed to disclose that, at the same court, he had been fined £175 for breach of the peace in 2008, and fined £100, also for breach of the peace, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in 2006.

Failure to notify the board of a relevant court conviction within the statutory 28 days resulted in Angela Gray having her personal licence suspended for six months.

The board heard that Ms Gray, the proposed designated premises manager of the Queen’s Head Bar in Hawick, had been fined £200 at Selkirk Sheriff Court in April last year for assaulting a security guard at Borders General Hospital.

Two applications for variations of premises licences elicited no adverse comments from either the police or the licensing standards officer.

As a result, Vivienne Bardoulet of Cringletie House Hotel in Peebles, was given leave to amend her operating plan to cater for 120 people (up from 80) and J. D. Weatherspoon’s Bourtree outlet in Hawick was given permission to have children, aged 15 and under, and young people, aged 16 and 17, on the premises until 10pm (currently 8pm) from Sunday to Thursday.