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Pub loses its late licence

White Hart

A pub that has regularly broken its licensing conditions and been accused of “not caring less” has had its late licence removed.

The White Hart Hotel, based in Ampthill town centre, will now be forced to stop selling alcohol and playing music at 11.30pm, and to close at midnight. It was previously allowed to stay open until 2.30am on Fridays, 1.30pm on Saturdays and midnight on Sundays.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the licensing sub-committee of Central Beds Council on Tuesday where a review of the licence was discussed.

Members also took the decision to remove the designated premises supervisor (DPS) Salik Miah from post as licensee. The pub is run by company Punch Taverns Ltd.

Technical officer in the public protection department at Central Beds Council Alan Stone called for the review following numerous complaints from residents over the last few years, and the meeting was packed out with frustrated neighbours.

One resident Alexander Pelling told the committee: “There is a great deal of evidence of serious breaches of conditions by the licensee. You have the report that states not just this, but one particular incident that despite repeated complaints, he simply did nothing.

“He could not care less about the council’s own public protection officer, so it is very hard to imagine he care about local people.

“It is my experience that locally people are mindful of this kind of thing, but this is an example of a landlord that could not care less.”

His wife Jenny added that she had suffered from sleep deprivation due to the loud music coming from the venue over numerous weekends. The couple live just four buildings away, and they told the committee they could here the music in their own house.

Other residents reported having to repeatedly wipe blood and vomit off their cars and driveways and seeing and hearing fights between “drunken” customers leaving the premises.

The meeting was also attended by partnership development manager Edwin Mater at Punch Taverns Ltd, who admitted the pub was guilty of the accusations from the members of the public.

But pleaded for the committee and residents to give them one more chance to prove the venue could be run properly.

They added that there were not problems every weekend and there had been long periods where there had been no complaints at all.

After the meeting a spokesman for Punch Taverns Lts said: ““It is always our priority that our pubs provide a safe and welcoming environments for responsible adults to enjoy good drink, food and entertainment.

“We are co-operating fully as part of the review process and continue to work very closely with the local authorities to address any issues.”



Lord’s plan to open lap-dancing club until 4am

ShaylersA CONTROVERSIAL lap-dancing club has applied for an extension of opening and alcohol serving hours.

Shaylers in Church Street, Ampthill, which has sparked protests outside its building and thousands of residents signing a petition, made the proposals this week to open until 4am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

It has also applied to Central Bedfordshire Council to serve alcohol until 3.30am on those respective days.

Its current opening licence allows it to stay open until 1.30am but the club’s owner Lord John Shayler has sought for an additional two hours of sexual entertainment at the venue.

Shaylers opened its doors in November amid protests among those there was the MP for Mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries.

Dancers at the club claimed they had to enter the building undercover to avoid abuse.


Original article: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/News/Lords-plan-to-open-lap-dancing-club-until-4am-20130116091142.htm

Leisure centre a step closer

Leisure Centre

Ambitious plans to create a brand new leisure centre for Flitwick are part of a leisure strategy that was given the go-ahead by Central Beds Council this week.

The procurement of a leisure management contract for three leisure centres in Bedfordshire, including Flitwick, was approved by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.

The strategy includes proposals to build a brand new facility comprising an eight-lane 25-metre swimming pool, a four-court sports hall and a range of other sports facilities.

A report to councillors said: “This is a phased scheme, which aims to deliver a significant improvement to the quality and supply of leisure facilities for the area when compared to the existing centre.

“The new centre will provide additional water space and expansion of the fitness equipment along with associated space for a range of sport and physical activities, and a café.

“It will also provide significant improvements to energy efficiency and avoid £2 million life cycle costs associated with the existing centre.

“A business case requires further development but the exact specification will aim to maximise a return on the council’s capital investment.

“The first phase is re-provision of football pitches.  The scheme is required because the proposed site for a new Flitwick Leisure Centre is on existing playing pitches which must be reprovided before the leisure centre can be built.”

As part of the plans Central Beds Council will be looking to knock down the current building on Steppingley Road and build a brand new centre next to it

The news was welcomed by Flitwick Town Council, who say they have been working on this project for a number of years.

Town mayor Phillip Thompson said: “Flitwick Town Council is delighted that Central Beds Council leisure strategy indicates that a new leisure centre and provision of new football pitches is planned for Flitwick.

“I hope this will be delivered as soon as possible.

“I would like to see the full specification of the leisure centre before making any further comments. Flitwick Town Council has been working towards delivery of this project for some years, particularly with local football clubs for much-needed football pitch provision.”

After the meeting Councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for sustainable communities, services, said: “We are acutely aware of the importance of leisure facilities to local residents and their contribution to the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“This approval for the procurement of a leisure management contract for these leisure centres is a positive step forwards.

“Pre-procurement work has already been used to inform our thinking about future facility development and procurement of an operating partner for these facilities.”

The proposal will go before the council in February.


Original Source: http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/local/leisure-centre-a-step-closer-1-4668293

Waitrose shoppers anger at sharing car park with strip club punters


FLUSTERED shoppers at a plush supermarket chain are believed to have voiced their concern with store chiefs over sharing a car park with clients of a nearby strip club.


Customers at Waitrose in Ampthill have understood to have pressured bosses at the branch to introduce enforcement to stop patrons of the controversial Shayler’s, which is feet away from the shop, sharing the parking spaced at their favourite store.


The Berkshire-based firm has said it is aware of customer concern but wouldn’t confirm if it had received formal complaints about the clash of clientele on the car park.


Shoppers and those seeking thrills from lapdancing cross paths on regular basis with the supermarket closing at 9pm and the strip club opening at 7pm.


The revered Shayler’s club opened in November amidst protest with a 6,000 strong petition handed to the licensing authority Central Bedfordshire Council. Waitrose said it didn’t make any representation to the council but it has encouraged customers with complaints to voice it with the local authority.


A spokesman for Waitrose said: “We are aware of some concern within the local community, however it is a council owned and managed car park and we would encourage those who have concerns to contact the local authority.”


One resident of Ampthill said: “There is now a stigma attached to anyone walking through Waitrose car park at night. There is always the suspicion that they may be on their way to this sex club or have just left there I don’t know where it will end. Ampthill used to be a very sedate little town, full of thatched cottages, antique shops and lovely restaurants. Now it is full of curry houses and charity shops. How long before we hit rock bottom and also get a MacDonald’s?’



Original Source: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/News/Waitrose-shoppers-anger-at-sharing-car-park-with-strip-club-punters-20130105140030.htm


MK1 Shopping Park celebrates official opening


MILTON Keynes newest shopping destination celebrated Christmas in style this weekend with a free two-day ice rink for all shoppers, plus a special appearance from X Factor duo MK1.


The popstars appeared at their namesake, MK1 Shopping Park, on Sunday as part of a two day official opening.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, thousands of families visited the new shopping destination for some festive fun on their free two-day ice rink.

Children enjoyed skating across the ice while parents headed into the shops.

X Factor finalists MK1 made a special appearance on Sunday, showcasing a variety of songs including some of their X Factor performances.

The urban hip-hop duo, made up of best friends Charlie Rundle and Simeon Dixon, rose to fame through this year’s ‘The X Factor’, reaching the live finals of the talent competition.

Their performance was incredibly popular with the waiting crowds.

One fan, Wendy Bristow, from Milton Keynes, said: “My family had a great time at MK1 this weekend. I had the chance to browse the new shops for Christmas presents while my husband and children enjoyed the ice-skating and entertainment from MK1”.

MK1 Shopping Park offers a mix of fashion retailers including Outfit, River Island, Marks & Spencer and H&M.

Primark will be opening its doors for the first time on Wednesday, with New Look opening late December.

The new shopping destination is home to brand-new fashion retailers on a 115,000 square foot ground floor area with mezzanines, plus over 600 free car parking spaces.

Regional Portfolio Manager at The Crown Estate, Jenny Mulligan, said: “We’d like to thank all shoppers that came along to our fantastic festive weekend at the MK1 Shopping Park.

“X Factor duo ‘MK1’ were an exciting addition to our Christmas celebrations with their brilliant performances. We’d like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and New Year.”

> All pictures by Tom Blackman

Original Source: http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/local/mk1-shopping-park-celebrates-official-opening-1-4572712