Pub landlord Tam Macpherson calls time on running The Clipper
PUB boss Tam Macpherson is to take a back seat at the controversial Clipper Inn in Union Street.
Mr Macpherson, who has had a number of run-ins with the police over management of the late-night pub, is handing over to a new licensee, Paul Braidwood and his partner Kerry Rosedogerty.
He will remain as company secretary of Plymouth Millbay Ltd, which runs The Clipper.
But the change of management yesterday failed to persuade councillors to lift tough conditions on the number of door supervisors at the Clipper.
Last year police asked the council’s licensing committee to revoke the Clipper’s license after a number of incidents linked to the pub, which routinely stays open right through the night.
The committee stopped short of closing the pub, but imposed conditions including the requirement for two door staff after 4am.
At a hearing yesterday the Clipper asked for a variation of the licence to allow just one door supervisor during the week and two at weekends.
David Campbell, for the company, said the requirement for two door supervisors was “a millstone around the neck” for the new operators of the pub.
“Rightly or wrongly there has been a clash of personality between Mr Macpherson and the police,” Mr Campbell said.
“The new designated premises supervisor will be taking over forthwith.”
Mr Macpherson’s relationship with the police was “now irrelevant”, added Mr Campbell.
“We have a new broom. We understand why the committee did what it did last year, but we think the evidence shows that you can distinguish between the days of the week.
“On quieter days of the week the need for two door staff is no longer there.”
He argued that only one door supervisor was needed if there were 45 or fewer customers in the pub, and that if more turned up then Mr Braidwood was in a position to call in extra help at short notice.
But James Taghdissian, for the police, said that until October 5 last year, when the new conditions came into force, there were still a relatively high number of incidents, but the number fell dramatically.
“It’s not a coincidence. The condition requiring two door staff is clearly working.
“We appreciate that employing door staff is expensive. But it’s the nature of the beast.
“If you choose to operate licensed premises there’s a cost to that.”
Councillors agreed with the police and refused to relax the requirements for two door supervisors after 4am, policing smokers on the pavement outside the pub, where there have been a number of incidents.
Mr Campbell said afterwards: “We are disappointed that the committee still doesn’t distinguish between quiet and busy periods.
“There is no reason why it can’t be run safely during quieter periods with less staff.
“The burden the committee has imposed could well undermine the economic viability of this small business.”
The Clipper has 21 days to appeal, and Mr Campbell said: “We will consider our position.”