Portsmouth pub given ‘last chance’ to prove it will get in order

The Shearer Arms
The Shearer Arms
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RESIDENTS have breathed a sigh of relief after their beloved pub was saved from closure.

The future of The Shearer Arms, in Fratton, was under threat after police recommended its licence be taken away. It came on the back of complaints officers received about loud noise and the pub being open after hours.

But Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee took the view yesterday that the licence should just be suspended until a proper CCTV system is put in place.

Members said that will ensure there is evidence of any problems in future and the pub will have protection against any false complaints made about them.

It was also recognised how much residents cherished the pub – but that it was also its ‘last chance’ at getting things right.

Shane Heard, 55, of Power Road, Buckland, spoke of his relief.

‘I’m relieved, it’s a lovely little pub,’ he said.

‘It’s always clean and tidy, and I’ve never seen anyone do drugs in there. It’s a welcome place and people take their children in there too.’

Committee vice-chairman Ken Ellcome told the pub’s owners: ‘I am sure this decision will please many of the residents and send the right message to those within shouting distance of the pub who have concerns.

‘We want to see this pub run for the benefit of the community in a proper and orderly manner.

‘If further complaints are received you will be liable to prosecutions through the courts. This is your last chance, please take it.’

As reported, officers attended the pub in the early hours of one morning on the back of a complaint to find 10 to 12 people sat around drinking after midnight, when the pub was meant to stop selling alcohol.

Despite this, no evidence was found booze had been served after hours.

PC Peter Rackham also visited the pub in June to find people leaving the pub late at night who were swearing and shouting while drunk.

Nearly 400 residents signed a petition calling for the pub, which is popular with football fans, to be saved.

Mark Flood, the pub’s co-owner, said: ‘I am pleased that it has been kept open.

‘But I thought they shouldn’t have suspended the licence and given us a window of perhaps two weeks to get the CCTV in place.’