Royston nightclub's licence revoked

A DECISION has been made to revoke the licence of a Royston nightclub. A three-member panel of North Herts councillors decided on Thursday to re-issue the licence of the Nu nightclub, Jeeps Lane. The club had been closed on October 6 bec

A NIGHTCLUB has had been ordered to make changes to its licence.

A three-member panel of North Herts District Council’s licensing and appeals committee decided to re-issue the licence of the Nu nightclub, in Market Hill.

The club was closed on October 6 because of an incident outside of the premises. The disturbance prompted police to issue a closing order as they were concerned over the possibility of further disorder.

This was the first case of its kind in North Herts involving an emergency review of a licensed premises’ opening hours.

Talking at the hearing, area police inspector Geoff Camp said: “The management of the premises needs to improve.

“Over recent months there have been a whole variety of things that have come together to prompt our concern.

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“So far the police have taken a considerate stance on the nightclub’s problems. Now we feel something must be done and that involves a change in hours.”

The panel decided at the end of the four-hour hearing that Nu would obtain a licence on the grounds of adhering to new guidelines.

Before it was open from 10pm-3am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Now it will be open from 10pm-1.30am.

Changes have also been made concerning the sale of alcohol. Under the new agreement, Nu will not be permitted to sell or supply alcohol on Thursday to Saturday after 1am and from Monday to Wednesday no later than midnight.

Chief Insp David Partridge said: “Beyond the panel’s ruling, the club’s owners offered some helpful new conditions, which should assist in improved management of the venue.

“The new hours should improve the problems of the past.

A spokesman for the nightclub’s management company said: “We will be taking a more active role.

“We are expecting a marked improvement and we will be liaising with the public and police to make sure there are no further problems.

“New policies will be put into place and will alleviate any problems.”

It was also decided that the premises licence will be suspended for up to 14 days in order for the police to check that regulations are in place.

Chief Insp Partridge added: “We will always endeavour to work to resolve issues in partnership with licensed premises managers, owners and breweries.

“Where in spite of this, problems persist then licenses can be reviewed as was the case in this instance.”

New rules a complete contrast’ from staggering closing times

AS we are sure all readers will be aware our licence was recently subject to a review by North Herts District Council.

The club has been a valuable asset to the town for about 11 years, especially with regard to Royston’s late-night economy.

As it stands the ruling of the hearing has reduced the operating times and the viability of the premises as a nightclub venue.

We are not alone in our opinion that Royston is a large enough town along with its surrounding villages to warrant having a nightclub, albeit only opening in this capacity for three nights-a-week.

As a nightclub, we feel strongly that we should give our account of the lead up to the closure order.

The police have presented a range of incidents where they have apportioned blame to the club, these include any incident taking place at a weekend pro-viding it is near the club.

Of course, there have been a few incidents that have taken place inside the club, but few. Our staff are well trained to deal with any problems in an effective professional manner.

So, to add weight to the police’s case in objecting to our hours and extending the closure order, incidents such as lost/stolen keys and mobile phones have been logged, allegations by disgruntled customers who have been asked to leave, or those refused entry that have later been retracted were also included all in order to give the perception that the club is a threat to public order.

In actual fact, there have been a small number of incidents of disorder and of these not all are a direct result of the club, some being from people who have been refused entry after arriving from other premises in town.

Representation was also made by the police at the hearing that since the suspension of the licence, all weekends in Roy-ston have passed without incident.

However being local and seeing first-hand the activities of the police and their visits to other licensed premises over the past few weeks we would question whether this is actually the case.

While we understand that everyone’s goal is to ensure that the town is a safe place to visit at anytime, we also understand that there are a few people as in any town or city that will cause trouble.

Our staff are knowledgeable as to whom these people are and they are not welcome as customers in our premises.

In addition, we are one of only two places in town that employ door staff and as such are in a better position to deal with problems caused by trouble-makers and one might argue offer a degree of relief to police resources.

We now find ourselves in a position that at our busiest period of the evening we have 220 people leaving the club, not to mention those leaving the other licensed premises in town, all looking for taxis home or the nearest fast-food outlet.

This is in complete contrast to the reasons given by Govern-ment for the introduction of 24-hour drinking.

Prior to our change of hours, we had people leaving the club from 1.30am to 3am, meaning a staggering of leaving times, and few people left in the club come 3am.

During the hearing, the police touched on the fact that they are in a better position to police the town before 1am as after their resources are required in places such as Hitchin, where disorder is much more widespread.

As a licensed premises, we find it a concern that lack of police funding appears to be grounds for police to object to and initiate a review of a licensed premises.

We do not see why Royston should suffer the loss of a nightclub purely so police can test their theory that other towns and cities would be in a better position to handle a late-night drinking culture.

We will be looking to appeal the decision in respect of hours.



Nu Nightclub, Royston