Union Street's Clipper Inn bids to change licence conditions at Plymouth City Council committee hearing
A BID to lift licence conditions imposed on Union Street's Clipper Inn will be heard tomorrow with the pub having been swamped with letters of support.
Plymouth Millbay Ltd, which runs The Clipper, wants councillors to change the licence conditions they slapped on the pub in April last year.
More than 130 letters have been submitted to the council in support of the pub, where the licensee is Tam Macpherson, prior to the hearing.
Plymouth Millbay Ltd wants the pub's premises licence varied so the bar only has to use one door supervisor between 4am and closing, Monday to Friday, instead of two.
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And there is also a request that only officers of Plymouth Millbay Ltd download CCTV images, and not employees such as bar and door staff.
Police are opposing the application.
A letter submitted from force licensing officer Fred Prout said: "The police are of the opinion that any change to the present conditions will lead to an unnecessary negative impact on the licensing objective and an increase in violent crime and disorder."
But other letters support the pub, with 19 reproduced in the report going to the committee.
One Union Street resident wrote: "I have not experienced any serious problems."
Another wrote: "I go in the Clipper quite often and have had or seen no trouble."
Another neighbour said: "I have never witnessed any trouble or people causing a nuisance." A nearby business wrote: "I have never had or seen any problems with the Clipper Inn."
A patron of the pub wrote: "I always feel the premises are a safe and friendly environment." And one person even called the Clipper "the last great pub in Plymouth".
The application, which goes before the council's licensing sub-committee tomorrow, is the latest in a string of attempts to change conditions impose by the licensing committee last year following allegations of violence and drunkenness.
The committee discounted all but six incidents, however, and rejected a request by the police licensing department to revoke the pub's licence outright.
But it did order the use of double door supervisors and that the pub provide CCTV footage within seven days of any police request.
Mr Macpherson was unhappy about the decision of what he dismissed as a "kangaroo court".
There followed an appeal to magistrates, claiming councillors gave undue weight to "flawed" police evidence, but this was rejected because the statutory period to launch a renewed appeal had passed.
An appeal in the civil courts, based on a procedural point, was abandoned due to heavy costs involved.
The pub's bosses, however, claim there are fewer than 45 customers post-4am on weekdays and a second door supervisor is not necessary or financially viable.
They say the CCTV condition is unworkable and "does not conform with the Data Protection Act and the guidance of the Information Commissioner".
Mr Macpherson said his understanding is that the Government expects police to develop a constructive working relationship with bar bosses, and added: "As guidance, back in 2005, there was a template of 'educate, encourage, enforce' – the three Es.
"But the Clipper's expectation to date is 'enforce, enforce, enforce'."