The Griffin Inn landlord Colin Cheevers to fight pub closure

Landlord to fight pub closure

Landlord to fight pub closure

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

A DEFIANT landlord has vowed to fight the decision by licensing chiefs to shut down his pub following a catalogue of trouble on the premises.

Southampton City Council’s licensing committee voted yesterday to close the Griffin Inn after police compiled a damning dossier of incidents.

But the pub will remain open for now after pub boss Colin Cheevers said he would appeal the decision and fight the council in court.

The decision to close down the Shirley watering hole comes just a week after they announced they will shut the Dorchester Arms in Onslow Road following a report by concerned police.

And it follows the production of a report by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) that revealed that 31 pubs close down every week across the country.

Hampshire police had called for the licence review of The Griffin after highlighting 62 incidents since Mr Cheevers took over the pub in Shirley in 2010. Among them was a reported fight with baseball bats, as well as a number of brawls both inside and outside the pub.

Police were also concerned about staff repeatedly serving customers after their closing time of 12.30am and the fact there was not an adequate CCTV system.

Officers said Mr Cheevers had not handed over footage to help officers with their investigations, even when he was the victim.

A number of residents also addressed the hearing yesterday, telling the committee they had endured years of late-night disturbances, with pubgoers sometimes making noise outside until 5am.

They also said they had to endure customers urinating and vomiting outside their houses, with one describing the pub as a “complete nightmare”.

Addressing the hearing, Mr Cheevers said he wanted the venue to be a “good community pub” and that he had arranged a series of measures to improve the pub, which included buying a new CCTV system and naming another member of staff as the designated premises supervisor (DPS).

The landlord, who recently negotiated a five-year lease extension with pub owners Enterprise Inns, also said he has a new incident and refusals log in place, staff had been given more training and was even handing out gobstopper lollipops to “calm down” customers.

He disputed the police record of 62 incidents, saying he believed there were only 21 occasions which had been within the pub’s control as the others had happened when staff were “doing their duty” in not letting rowdy people into the pub.

But the committee decided to revoke the licence, with chairman Matt Tucker saying the panel had “no confidence that the current premises licence holder can manage what is clearly based on the evidence a very difficult premises.”

He continued: “Whilst it is accepted that on occasion examples of good management can be seen, this does not outweigh the evidence in relation to the incidents of concern.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Cheevers said: “I think it is an unjust decision. We will obviously appeal and put it to a magistrates’ court that we have done everything the police have asked us to do and the panel obviously don’t believe that is enough.”

The pub will remain open until the outcome of the appeal hearing, which will take place later this year.

Comments (18)

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10:57am Fri 15 Aug 14

massimoosti says...

It was for sale a couple of weeks ago........did it sell or is it still on the market ?
It was for sale a couple of weeks ago........did it sell or is it still on the market ? massimoosti
  • Score: 0

11:27am Fri 15 Aug 14

am5696 says...

It would be a shame to close the pub down as the vast majority of the 'regulars' are good people! Keep it open and get a landlord in there who can handle the shirley 'down and outs' who ruin it for everyone else!
It would be a shame to close the pub down as the vast majority of the 'regulars' are good people! Keep it open and get a landlord in there who can handle the shirley 'down and outs' who ruin it for everyone else! am5696
  • Score: 8

2:01pm Fri 15 Aug 14

leesa-kim says...

crafty move going for an appeal ......which wont work , it just means us poor residents have to endure the trouble and the rubbish manager and staff a bit longer , why not just go now its obvious that residents and council and police alike all dont wont the pub and staff there , but oh well we will have our day , maybe not in 21 days but soon when the appeal sees sense , because the amount of trouble and complaints its going to get between now and then ......the staff may play goody to shoes upto the appeal , but hopefully they will see through the charade , so line your pockets while you still can because your days are numbered.
crafty move going for an appeal ......which wont work , it just means us poor residents have to endure the trouble and the rubbish manager and staff a bit longer , why not just go now its obvious that residents and council and police alike all dont wont the pub and staff there , but oh well we will have our day , maybe not in 21 days but soon when the appeal sees sense , because the amount of trouble and complaints its going to get between now and then ......the staff may play goody to shoes upto the appeal , but hopefully they will see through the charade , so line your pockets while you still can because your days are numbered. leesa-kim
  • Score: 4

2:23pm Fri 15 Aug 14

realistic-usa says...

Nothing like a bit of bruising to go with the drinks and crisps
Nothing like a bit of bruising to go with the drinks and crisps realistic-usa
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Fri 15 Aug 14

camerajuan says...

When will authorities get it into their heads - it's not the pub or the landlord. It's the morons. Change the landlord, close the pub or both - the morons will still be there.

If your chips are too salty, do you stop eating chips?

If your bath is overflowing do you just not wash that day?
When will authorities get it into their heads - it's not the pub or the landlord. It's the morons. Change the landlord, close the pub or both - the morons will still be there. If your chips are too salty, do you stop eating chips? If your bath is overflowing do you just not wash that day? camerajuan
  • Score: -5

3:49pm Fri 15 Aug 14

S!monOn says...

camerajuan wrote:
When will authorities get it into their heads - it's not the pub or the landlord. It's the morons. Change the landlord, close the pub or both - the morons will still be there.

If your chips are too salty, do you stop eating chips?

If your bath is overflowing do you just not wash that day?
What do you propose - shoot them?
[quote][p][bold]camerajuan[/bold] wrote: When will authorities get it into their heads - it's not the pub or the landlord. It's the morons. Change the landlord, close the pub or both - the morons will still be there. If your chips are too salty, do you stop eating chips? If your bath is overflowing do you just not wash that day?[/p][/quote]What do you propose - shoot them? S!monOn
  • Score: 3

3:55pm Fri 15 Aug 14

camerajuan says...

I propose don't give them ridiculous amounts of money simply because they breed and don't work.

Its a simple equation.

If a perfectly healthy X is spoiled by Y, remove Y. Don't remove X.
I propose don't give them ridiculous amounts of money simply because they breed and don't work. Its a simple equation. If a perfectly healthy X is spoiled by Y, remove Y. Don't remove X. camerajuan
  • Score: -1

4:05pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Big Mac says...

Is the landlord proposing to fight the pub closure with a baseball bat? Would seem quite apt under the circumstances.
Is the landlord proposing to fight the pub closure with a baseball bat? Would seem quite apt under the circumstances. Big Mac
  • Score: 7

4:07pm Fri 15 Aug 14

realistic-usa says...

Maybe set up off site bruising in the local park?

Set up a table with drinks to purchase.

Let them work off their aggression under the trees.
Maybe set up off site bruising in the local park? Set up a table with drinks to purchase. Let them work off their aggression under the trees. realistic-usa
  • Score: -1

4:08pm Fri 15 Aug 14

mack chinnon says...

Enterprise inns are a bunch of k_nts.
Enterprise inns are a bunch of k_nts. mack chinnon
  • Score: 6

5:21pm Fri 15 Aug 14

THEKILLER says...

Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV
Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV THEKILLER
  • Score: 1

6:21pm Fri 15 Aug 14

loosehead says...

leesa-kim wrote:
crafty move going for an appeal ......which wont work , it just means us poor residents have to endure the trouble and the rubbish manager and staff a bit longer , why not just go now its obvious that residents and council and police alike all dont wont the pub and staff there , but oh well we will have our day , maybe not in 21 days but soon when the appeal sees sense , because the amount of trouble and complaints its going to get between now and then ......the staff may play goody to shoes upto the appeal , but hopefully they will see through the charade , so line your pockets while you still can because your days are numbered.
So tell me what was there first? You or the pub?
I've had some great nights in there I've never had a fight in there & never seen one.
So what pub next? Salisbury Arms? Shirley Hotel or The Real Ale Shirley Park Hotel?
Then after all the pubs are shut ,shut all supermarkets that sell alcohol?
Surely you must have noticed the pub before you moved there?
[quote][p][bold]leesa-kim[/bold] wrote: crafty move going for an appeal ......which wont work , it just means us poor residents have to endure the trouble and the rubbish manager and staff a bit longer , why not just go now its obvious that residents and council and police alike all dont wont the pub and staff there , but oh well we will have our day , maybe not in 21 days but soon when the appeal sees sense , because the amount of trouble and complaints its going to get between now and then ......the staff may play goody to shoes upto the appeal , but hopefully they will see through the charade , so line your pockets while you still can because your days are numbered.[/p][/quote]So tell me what was there first? You or the pub? I've had some great nights in there I've never had a fight in there & never seen one. So what pub next? Salisbury Arms? Shirley Hotel or The Real Ale Shirley Park Hotel? Then after all the pubs are shut ,shut all supermarkets that sell alcohol? Surely you must have noticed the pub before you moved there? loosehead
  • Score: 3

6:24pm Fri 15 Aug 14

loosehead says...

THEKILLER wrote:
Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV
Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at?
Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?
[quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV[/p][/quote]Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at? Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties? loosehead
  • Score: -2

7:00pm Fri 15 Aug 14

THEKILLER says...

loosehead wrote:
THEKILLER wrote:
Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV
Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at?
Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?
There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system .
There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV[/p][/quote]Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at? Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?[/p][/quote]There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system . There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police THEKILLER
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Fri 15 Aug 14

ChandlersFordKev says...

THEKILLER wrote:
loosehead wrote:
THEKILLER wrote:
Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV
Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at?
Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?
There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system .
There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police
Proof of this, if you don't mind?
[quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV[/p][/quote]Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at? Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?[/p][/quote]There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system . There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police[/p][/quote]Proof of this, if you don't mind? ChandlersFordKev
  • Score: -2

7:26pm Fri 15 Aug 14

ChandlersFordKev says...

ChandlersFordKev wrote:
THEKILLER wrote:
loosehead wrote:
THEKILLER wrote:
Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV
Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at?
Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?
There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system .
There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police
Proof of this, if you don't mind?
Sorry re-read the story, ignore my comment.
[quote][p][bold]ChandlersFordKev[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: Doesn't help his case if he won't help the police with CCTV[/p][/quote]Really? where would CCTV's be placed? there are several entrances into the pub at least three that I know of so which door to you place them at? Will these neighbours be happy to find a CCTV staring at their properties?[/p][/quote]There is already CCTV inside and outside it is just a very poor system . There was footage of some incidents inside the pub but he refused to assist the police[/p][/quote]Proof of this, if you don't mind?[/p][/quote]Sorry re-read the story, ignore my comment. ChandlersFordKev
  • Score: 3

10:47am Sat 16 Aug 14

Frank28 says...

Of course the landlord will have to appeal, as he's contracted into the 5 year lease, which he will have to pay, unless he can find someone to take over the lease. An alcohol-free pub isn't really going to make any money.
Of course the landlord will have to appeal, as he's contracted into the 5 year lease, which he will have to pay, unless he can find someone to take over the lease. An alcohol-free pub isn't really going to make any money. Frank28
  • Score: 2

2:04pm Sat 16 Aug 14

realistic-usa says...

I did hear that a lot of the trouble was caused by people from out of the area coming to instigate a fight. Whether this is true I don't know. Someone even mentioned people from London. Looks a bit far fetched to me. I suspect it is more local bruisers.

If anyone is arrested they will probably get off lightly. The magistrates at Southampton are a pretty hopeless bunch of Plonkers frankly.
I did hear that a lot of the trouble was caused by people from out of the area coming to instigate a fight. Whether this is true I don't know. Someone even mentioned people from London. Looks a bit far fetched to me. I suspect it is more local bruisers. If anyone is arrested they will probably get off lightly. The magistrates at Southampton are a pretty hopeless bunch of Plonkers frankly. realistic-usa
  • Score: 2

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