By Joseph Hoppe

CIVIC chiefs have scuppered a Southampton nightclub’s attempt to reopen under a new supervisor.

The decision comes after the nominee failed to show up to a Southampton City Council licensing committee meeting this week.

Smoke and Mirrors, in Bedford Place, opened on September 16 last year on the premises of the bar formerly known as Prohibition.

The most recent post on its Facebook timeline, dated March 19, says: “NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who supported us along the way…”

The club had applied to change its designated premises supervisor (DPS), a person who is in charge of the day-to-day running of a site selling alcohol.

In a report to the licensing committee, PC Brian Swallow, alcohol and entertainment licensing officer for Southampton, said: “The venue has had a problematic period since being under control by the current operator. There have been incidents of unlicensed activities and breaches of planning legislation.”

The report added that “the previous DPS that was installed at the venue was in name only and was not in day to day control”.

Before police were able to take any action, the former DPS resigned. The club has remained closed since, as it is unable to serve alcohol without the supervisor.

On February 28, the police received an application to change the DPS to Karen Walsh.

PC Swallow advised against letting Ms Walsh be named the supervisor.

In his report he said: “The police have attempted to contact Ms Walsh since they received the application. These attempts have included, ringing her mobile phone several times a day, leaving voicemail messages and visiting the venue (which is closed). All attempts have failed.

“Failure to be able to communicate with a DPS is a concern to the police, especially as it relates to a late night drinking establishment that has already raised concerns with the management of it.

“The police are of the belief that Walsh is not and will not be in day-to-day control of the venue and therefore exceptional circumstances exist to object to this application.”

After this week’s meeting, city councillor Bob Painton, a member of the licensing committee, said: “She [Ms Walsh] failed to turn up and failed to respond to a police response for interview.

"There was nothing we could do. We heard the police report and that was it – we decided that she was not fit and proper for supervisor.”

The Daily Echo attempted to reach the club for comment, but was unable to speak to anyone.