Portsmouth pub boss calls for rethink over licence decision

DISAPPOINTED Landlady Gillian Drinkwater at The Tangier pub in Tangier Road Portsmouth.   Picture: Steve Reid (121543-785)
DISAPPOINTED Landlady Gillian Drinkwater at The Tangier pub in Tangier Road Portsmouth. Picture: Steve Reid (121543-785)
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

Picture: Steve Reid

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THE manager of a pub that had its licence suspended over fears of violence is urging the council to reconsider.

Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee voted last week to ban The Tangier, in Tangier Road, Copnor, from selling alcohol until a full review of its licence is held.

The decision followed an attack outside the pub in which a 31-year-old woman was allegedly glassed and repeatedly punched in the face on May 25. Police arrested a man in connection with the assault but said their investigation was hampered by the removal of evidence and denials the attack had taken place.

But pub manager Gillian Drinkwater – who took over five months ago and now faces being removed from her job because of the decision – said the police had misunderstood the situation at The Tangier because of its chequered history. She has organised a petition of customers and staff and is calling on licensing councillors to overturn the ruling.

‘Everyone who works at the pub or drinks in the pub knows it’s not a violent place,’ she said.

‘In the past it had a reputation but now things have turned around. We are being punished for something that happened outside the front door and didn’t involve any regulars.

‘No-one hid evidence or anything like that and I think the police just got the wrong end of the stick when they came round.’

She added: ‘We’re going to organise a petition, a Facebook page and do everything we can to change their minds. The problem I have is how do you change someone’s negative opinion?

‘It’s very difficult because they’ve all made up their minds without visiting the pub or speaking to the regulars.’

Now the venue, owned by Enterprise Inns, has been ordered to comply with nine conditions, including installing CCTV and removing the current designated premises supervisor.

Licensing sub-committee chairman Les Stevens said: ‘The problems at the pub were so severe this was the only option. We cannot tolerate pubs being run in this irresponsible way.’

A review hearing will be held on June 27.