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Concerned by result of licencing appeal

PUBLISHED: 13:05 18 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 September 2010

I am concerned by the report on an appeal won by the Retail 24 shop in South End Green (Shop wins appeal for longer licence, H&H January 11). In August, I chaired the licensing panel where we decided to limit the hours during which the applicant could sel

I am concerned by the report on an appeal won by the Retail 24 shop in South End Green (Shop wins appeal for longer licence, H&H January 11).

In August, I chaired the licensing panel where we decided to limit the hours during which the applicant could sell alcohol from their premises. I and my fellow panel member rightly believed that we had arrived at the fairest decision we could come to.

This week I have read that the applicant has had our decision overturned on appeal to the magistrates at Highbury Corner.

The points that concern me, and I would appreciate some feedback from other local people, are: When an appeal is lodged against a decision by councillors, why are the councillors involved not given the opportunity to present their case for their original decision? And can magistrates really come to a fair decision on local matters such as this?

Our magistrates are furiously overworked with an increasing caseload. Surely on decisions which affect such a small, localised, area as South End Green an appeals panel at the council would be a better forum.

Is it not more sensible for a moratorium to be placed on any decisions made by Licensing Panels of say one year? During this time the effects of the decision could be properly monitored and would give an adequate reflection of the sensibility, or not, of the original decision.

Cllr Arthur Graves

Liberal Democrats, Belsize Ward

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