Threat to plans for music day

Mark Collett, the chairman of Highworth Town Junior FC, which has applied for an extension to its premises’ licence to allow it to serve alcohol for longer hours and during events held on the ground outside the club house

Mark Collett, the chairman of Highworth Town Junior FC, which has applied for an extension to its premises’ licence to allow it to serve alcohol for longer hours and during events held on the ground outside the club house

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

MEMBERS of Highworth Town Juniors Football Club are fighting for the future of charity events at its base as opposition to a change in its premises licence mounts.

At a meeting of Highworth Town Council on Tuesday it was resolved to officially oppose the club’s application to alter the terms of its licence.

The club has applied to Swindon Council for permission to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises at The Pavilion, Sands Ground, as well as to hold regulated entertainment indoors and outdoors from 10am until midnight from Monday to Sunday.

Club chairman Mark Collett said: “We went to Swindon Council to apply to host a live music event, which will be in aid of charity. “We were advised to change our licence for the sale of alcohol to cover us for all events throughout the year. Currently our licence doesn’t cover us for music events.

“We applied and the residents didn’t like it. They thought we were going to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“All we are trying to do is things for the community, which most of the town would enjoy and support.

“A few people who don’t like what we are trying to do means it might not happen.”

The charities in line to benefit from the event, which would be held on July 12, are Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Women’s Aid, with any extra cash going towards the club’s plans for an all-weather training facility at Warneford School.

In its minutes from Tuesday’s meeting, the council said it opposed the blanket application for the reason of protecting children from harm and the avoidance of public nuisance.

It wants the club to apply for individual event licences each time it needs to and says the existing premises’ licence should be retained.

Highworth councillor Lynn Vardy said: “In the beginning, when we agreed to have the pavilion there, this came out in a debate.

“There was no alcohol to be sold there at all, and over the years its evolved. “They just have to apply, as they do now, each time they want to change the licence temporarily.

“They keep saying it’s only for odd occasions, if it is, they won’t need a blanket licence.”

Mark said the club was advised by Swindon Council to apply for a blanket licence because it allowed more people to attend community events.

He also said Wiltshire Police had given the application their full backing with a letter to confirm there was no issue with potential problems.

“As a community club, we are not the type that would want to do anything to cause problems,” he said.

The deadline for representations on the application passed on Wednesday and Mark is awaiting notification of any hearing which might be required as a result.

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