A pub with a reputation that “leaves a lot to be desired” following a series of incidents will be allowed to remain open, but only if the landlady abides by a new set of conditions laid down by police and politicians.
Cristina Golescu, who purchased The Masons Arms in High Street, Edgware, in July 2012, had her licence to operate the pub reviewed by a Harrow Council’s licensing sub-committee on Wednesday last week after police noted concerns over a series of alleged fights, thefts and a BB gun faux shooting.
Problems flared up again in February when police and customs officers raided the pub and seized alcohol to which the tax duty had allegedly not been paid.
Councillor Susan Hall (Conservative) was due to be on the panel reviewing the pub’s licence last week, however she stepped down following concerns that her involvement in the February police raid - which she carried out in her capacity of leader of the council at the time - would compromise her impartiality.
She told the Observer after the hearing: “The reputation of this establishment leaves a great deal to be desired, and it is absolutely our duty to assist the police as best we can.
“With these set of conditions recommended by the panel I hope we can see a more robust and effective way of managing the issues raised by police.”
The under-fire landlady Mrs Golescu has either denied a number of events that police detailed in their report to councillors, and said that police requests to have security staff fitted with cameras were ‘too expensive’ and had caused her ‘anxiety’.
She said at the meeting: “I am concerned that the Metropolitan Police have an unhealthy obsession with my pub.
“I urge the sub-committee to refuse this application and to request the police to help businesses as per the Statutory Guidance rather than to persecute them for their lack of policing and investigative abilities.”
The panel eventually issued its decision this morning, stating:
- The Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is to ensure someone is on site at all times to operate CCTV
- Clear prominent signage is shown advising that smoking is prohibited inside the premises
- The DPS is to ensure all staff attend training at least twice a year with records being kept.
- There will be a minimum of four door supervisors from 9pm until 30 minutes after closing on Friday, Saturday and any Sunday falling within a bank holiday.
- The DPS is to attend a minimum of two pub watch meetings a year and keep an up to date record of attendances on the premises ready for inspection.
What do you think? Should the pub have been closed down? Comment below or email reporter John Shammas on email@example.com