A gay bar where a 14-year-old girl was served alcohol has kept its licence. And Fierce nightclub, in Goodson Street, Hanley, was also spared the cost of having to increase its CCTV coverage and extend the hours of its door staff.Really? And…why?
Licensee Craig Kirk told members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's licensing sub-committee meeting that such conditions could lead to the venue shutting.Ummmm, yes. Those are called ‘consequences’. Why should this venue escape them? It’s not like this was a ‘well, anyone could make a mistake’ case – the girl was 14!
The bar, which opened in November 2010 following a £20,000 makeover, was the only nightspot out of 23 to fail a police 'test purchase' operation on March 3. A 14-year-old volunteer sent into the club was sold two bottles of the alcopop WKD by a member of staff.The only nightclub out of 23..!
Police requested conditions were imposed on the venue's licence following the incident.But not ones that were too stringent. Can’t be seen to be impartial, clearly.
Licensee Craig Kirk said: "We have operated since 2010 with no issues. "It is a gay bar and are (sic) customers are mainly older members of the gay community.
"It is only a small venue with a capacity of about 100 and you can see all around from the bar without the need for a CCTV screen.
"We don't open until 8pm and nobody really gets here until 10pm and door staff can cost £12.50 an hour. We don't need them from 7pm.
"The extra cost would probably see us close. The place only really pays for itself as it is."It’d be no loss, then?
In future, the bar must keep a record of staff training on under-age sales. A refusals book must also be used. The bar will also join the Stoke-on-Trent Crime Initiative Night Partnership.Shouldn’t they have been doing this already?