Gosport mayor’s pub ban appeal rejected after CCTV from night is examined

The mayor of Gosport, Councillor Wayne Ronayne

The mayor of Gosport, Councillor Wayne Ronayne

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THE MAYOR of Gosport faces five more months of a ban from the town’s pubs after losing an appeal.

Councillor Wayne Ronayne appealed over a six-month Pub Watch ban given to him for an alleged incident at The Star pub in Gosport on the day he took office in June.

Now a committee has unanimously voted to keep the ban in place.

It comes after the alleged incident on June 4, hours after the former Royal Navy Warrant Officer was voted in as mayor at a ceremony.

Bar staff asked the mayor’s party to leave but police were called and the group were ejected from the pub.

Cllr Ronayne denies any wrongdoing and said he was not drunk.

The News understands in his appeal the mayor said he rounded up his group and left the pub when asked.

But CCTV footage is understood to reveal they stayed for nearly an hour despite being asked to go four times.

Opposition councillors are now demanding Tory Cllr Ronayne considers his role.

Dennis Wright, Labour leader, said: ‘I don’t think it’s at all good for the town.

‘The mayor needs to consider his position.

‘I don’t think they should’ve been in a position where they needed to be asked to leave.’

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Peter Chegwyn said: ‘He should resign. He should now do what he should’ve done weeks ago.

‘His postion is untenable, he’s a nice chap as a person but he should not stay as mayor.

‘I just don’t believe he could do the job.’

He said the mayor would find it difficult to carry out his role as functions and cheque presentations are often held on licensed premises.

Cllr Ronayne’s partner and mayoress Paula Carter did not appeal her 12-month ban.

That was handed down after allegedly telling bar staff at The Star and Nelsons she could have them closed.

As reported, the Gosporteers fundraising group refused to elect him president as is usually done each year.

Phil Cox is chair of Pub Watch and sat on the seven-strong appeal committee.

It was made up of three people from the first hearing and three that were not on the first panel.

Mr Cox said: ‘We’ve watched CCTV footage and we’ve read statements from staff and police 
officers.

‘His appeal has not been successful. The ban is upheld.

‘We were quite right in giving him it.’

Mr Cox did not take part in the committee’s vote.

Tory deputy leader Cllr Graham Burgess said: ‘Wayne will make his decision.

‘This is a personal matter for Wayne.’

Deputy mayor Cllr Keith Farr said it should be down to Cllr Ronayne’s party what happens to him.

‘It’s down to him and down to his group,’ he said.

Cllr Ronayne and Ms Carter were unavailable for comment despite 
requests.

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