A Worksop chip shop owner says he is at his “wits’ end” after being told he will need to apply to the county’s Children’s Safeguarding Board and Liquor Team before he can sell fish and chipsat night.
Colin Barton, who runs Nicola’s Fish Bar on Carlton Road, was also told he will need to employ two bouncers to man his chip shop door in order to obtain a ‘Late Night Refreshment’ licence from Bassetlaw District Council - as the Guardian reported last month.
The 52-year-old has been co-running the chip shop with his partner for ten weeks and needs the licence to sell food legally on Friday and Saturday nights only, between the hours of 11pm and 3.30am.
He told the Guardian: “It’s like I live on a different planet to the people I have spoken to in order to get this licence, which I need in order to keep my business afloat.
“All I am asking to do is sell fish and chips on a Friday and Saturday night. I don’t see what this has to do with children, as there won’t be any around at that time, or selling alcohol.”
“Worksop, as we know, is a small town and I would have thought that independent businesses in the area would have been supported by the council and the police.”
Colin said he was also shocked to receive a letter from Nottinghamshire Police which raised concerns about the “alcohol-related antisocial behaviour” that his premises would “inevitably cause”.
He added: “I don’t understand how my business will cause alcohol-related bother in Worksop- it’s a chip shop. There are bouncers at the nearby bars such as the Corner House, as well as plenty of police patrolling the area on weekends. I haven’t had one spot of trouble.”
Bassetlaw District Council has defended the requirements of the late night refreshment licence, which they say all businesses must adhere to in accordance with Government law. ]
The Nottinghamshire Children’s Safeguarding Board is one of the ‘responsible authorities’ Mr Barton has to consult under the guidelines, along with Environmental Health and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue.
Stephen Wormald, Bassetlaw District Council solicitor, said: “Our license application forms come with guidance notes, including a list of the responsible authorities that need to be contacted in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003. Under the Act, the responsible authorities must have 28 days to consider the application and make representations.
“Mr Barton ticked the checklist on his application indicating he had sent a copy of the application to the responsible authorities, when in fact he had only contacted the county’s Liquor Team. It is a statutory requirement Mr Barton notifies these bodies, we cannot bypass this part of the process.”