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Brewery blamed for loss of bar’s licence
THE brewery running Long’s Bar in Old Town, which was stripped of its licence last month, has been heavily criticised for failing to do enough to tackle underage drinking.
Long’s, owned by Arkell’s brewery, lost its licence to sell alcohol two weeks ago after repeated failures on underage test purchases being carried out by the police.
Teenagers aged under 18 were sent in on a number of occasions and were served four times since 2010 – with three occuring from October 2012.
Some of those going into the bar were as young as 15.
The police requested a licence review in which they called for the premises supervisor, the individual running the pub, to be removed and the premises licence holder, Arkell’s, to also lose permission to sell alcohol at the venue.
Both of these were granted by a council licencing committee and Mike Sheridan, the landlord, lost his tenancy several days after the decision.
Arkell’s licence to run Long’s Bar was revoked, a decision they have 21 days to appeal.
As well as criticising the actions of the manager, the committee cited repeated failures by the Swindon based brewery as the reason for their decision.
The report says the management structure of the tenancy agreement meant that Mr Sheridan was limited in the procedures he could introduce to combat underage drinking.
It also states that Arkell’s had no effective policies of its own to combat the problem.
The brewery was also criticised for not introducing policies on earlier test failures and instead only offering advice and guidance.
The report also stated that the licensing panel were not convinced Arkell’s, as the premises licence holder, would intervene effectively to make sure similar incidents could not occur again.
Long’s Bar is able to remain open while the appeal process is ongoing.
The first test failure occured in February 2010 with the bar once again failing in October 2012, when two 17-year-olds were served.
A licence review was called with the bar being told to increase staff training and check the ID of anyone looking under the age of 25.
In January this year, the bar served underage drinkers twice on one evening leading to them being ordered to close for 48 hours.
The fourth failure took place in July when a 16 and 17-year-old were served, despite initially being stopped by security staff on the door.
This final incident led to police calling for the latest licence review.
Mr Sheridan has declined to comment while a spokesperson for Arkell’s confirmed they would be appealing the decision.
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