I HAVE lived off Grove Place for several years now, and it is with amazement that I read your story regarding antisocial drinkers spilling on to the streets of Acton from The Windmill and upsetting the local residents. (Ealing Gazette, March 13).
The article takes an extremely biased stance against The Windmill, which is a family run pub regarded by its patrons, including myself, as a secure and unthreatening environment to socialise in, which is a rarity these days among the public houses in Acton.
I know its owners to be decent and responsible people who have been in business there since 1980 and who do not tolerate any forms of nuisance, noise, drunkenness or harassment on its premises.
There are a number of allegations in the article which I feel compelled to take issue with.
Firstly, the Windmill does not sell cans of beer - so who is selling them?
The management of The Windmill has no control over this but the police do, and can stop public drinking by law.
Secondly, the allegation that the pavement outside, during and after functions at the pub is like "walking through an ashtray" is preposterous.
The Windmill is probably the only licensed premises in the vicinity that has regular schedules in place for sweeping and cleaning of the public pathways.
This was in place even before the smoking ban came in.
The rubbish swept up by the staff is almost entirely composed of takeaway cartons and other material which have not originated in The Windmill.
Also, a designated smoking area is in place to the front of the pub on Acton High Street, and the Windmill security staff always ensure that patrons remain in this area and not around the main entrance on Grove Road.
Thirdly, it is unfair to seize upon one or two unproven incidences of arrests for violence or drug possession involving customers.
In what way can the Windmill be held responsible for offences committed on the public highway?
Finally, two other premises, namely The Tune Inn and The Libertaire, which are situated very close to The Windmill, close at 3 am and 4 am respectively.
Ask any of the business community and people living over commercial property on Acton High Street and you will hear a familiar story.
Patrons departing these premises play loud music from their car stereos, making a lot of noise and causing a general nuisance.
In my opinion this is where the real problem seems to be, as many of these patrons will make their way up Grove Road on foot at all hours of the night.
I trust this will add a bit more balance to the ongoing debate.
Cromwell Close Acton
* Editor's note: The Windmill pub was given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, all of which were contained in a licensing committee report, prior to the story going to press but declined to do so.