Restaurant licences revoked and suspended following immigration offences
Published on 25th August 2016
Three of Cheltenham’s licensed premises had their alcohol licences revoked or suspended last week following reviews called by Gloucestershire Constabulary.
Cheltenham Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee revoked the licence of Masala Bites on Albion Street and suspended those of Indian Voojan on Montpellier Street and Chelsea Bar & Brasserie on St George’s Place, for four weeks and two weeks respectively.
The premises had been subject to immigration raids earlier this year by Home Office officials who found people working on the premises who did not have the proper immigration status to be employed. The police applied to the council to review the licences due to concerns about crime and disorder and public safety.
In coming to its decisions the sub-committee felt that in each case, the management of the premises had failed to take sufficient steps to prevent crime and disorder and protect the safety of the public, which are objectives that all licensed premises are obliged to uphold.
In the case of Masala Bites the sub-committee felt that the management of the premises had been inadequate and that revocation of the licence was the appropriate step to take. In respect of Indian Voojan and Chelsea Bar & Brasserie, the sub-committee felt that a temporary suspension was appropriate with an instruction that they must manage their premises better in future, particularly when checking the credentials of people applying for work.
Councillor Diggory Seacome, chair of Friday’s sub-committee, said: “As well as failing to uphold the licensing objectives, these cases have highlighted a potential issue in the restaurant and leisure trade when it comes to employing casual staff.
“This should serve as a clear reminder to all employers that if the correct checks are not made, there can be severe consequences for their businesses and for the wellbeing of the public and the employees themselves.”
The licence holders can appeal to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days. The council’s decisions are not implemented until after that period or until after any appeal has been heard.
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