Last week I submitted the following letter to The Argus after having read this article about Cllr Mary Mears’ views on licensing in the city.
As a councillor representing Brighton & Hove’s Regency Ward, where the bulk of licensed premises operate, I welcome Cllr Mary Mears’ support for rebalancing the licensing act to be more supportive of residents’ concerns (“Council concern over law” Wednesday October 13th).
However in addition to lobbying Theresa May, Cllr Mears should also speak to her colleagues on the Council’s own licensing committee who repeatedly are observed to be on panels which approve new and extended licenses in the cumulative impact area, in the face of strong objections from residents, councillors and the Police.
Indeed it was the Conservative chair of licensing who led the panel which approved extended hours for ‘Jam’ in Middle Street. This resulted in Sussex Police, for the first time ever, lodging an appeal in court against the council. I’m relieved that the ‘Jam’ case has now been resolved by the hard work of the Police licensing team who have negotiated a new, more restrictive, license.
Those of us working to address the impacts of the licensed trade in the city, including responsible venue managers, would appreciate Cllr Mears spreading the message not just to national government, but to local Tory councillors too.
Cllr Jason Kitcat
Green Councillor for Regency Ward, Brighton & Hove City Council
Kings House, Grand Avenue, Hove BN3 2LS