THE landlord of the last pub in Paulsgrove says he’s been told to go because of issues surrounding the venue.
The future of The Cross Keys, in Birdlip Road, Portsmouth, hangs in the balance after police produced a report with their concerns over a spate of incidents.
PC Pete Rackham revealed a man was attacked with a glass at the pub and left with a broken leg during an incident in May.
PC Rackham has recommended the pub’s licence be suspended and new management be brought in to resolve issues.
Stephen Greaves, who has been in charge of the venue and a publican for 30 years, says Cross Keys leaseholder Hawthorn Leisure Limited has now told him to leave in light of what happened.
But Mr Greaves has hit back at criticism over the pub and his tenure at the venue and says it’s been a vital meeting place for older people.
He said: ‘It’s got a lot of customers – for the people who use it, it would be devastating for them if the pub closes because it’s the only pub they have.
‘It’s for the older generation.
‘We don’t get a lot of youngsters in.
‘The police’s claim about ineffective management is ridiculous.
‘I have been in the pub game all my life, I have had pubs all around Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.
‘I have been given notice to leave, but I was going to walk anyway – I’m 65 years old. If I had gone down to the council to challenge the review, I would have had to take a solicitor on, and that would have cost too much.’
A decision over the pub’s future will be made at a council meeting on Wednesday at Portsmouth Guildhall.