Voters angry over pub ban ex-mayor’s role on council licensing board

Councillor Wayne Ronayne
Councillor Wayne Ronayne

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PEOPLE have reacted with anger over the appointment to a council licensing board of a former mayor – because he has been banned from pubs for six months.

Councillor Wayne Ronayne was put on the borough council’s committee despite still serving a Pub Watch ban from 36 pubs he got over an incident on the day he took up office.

Calls for Cllr Ronayne to step down from his position on the board – given to him by Tory leader Mark Hook – and as a member for Christchurch ward started to grow yesterday.

People on The News’ Facebook page were outraged by the move.

Ben Walsh said: ‘Does Gosport council have any understanding of the concept ‘conflict of interest’ or are they just taking the [mick] out of the people they are there to serve?’

‘Time for a no-confidence vote from the people of Gosport.’

Steve Watts said: ‘Unbelievable – this man should not hold any job in council, especially this one, jobs for the boys again.’

It comes after Cllr Ronayne was given the ban over an incident in Wetherspoon’s pub The Star in High Street, Gosport.

He denies any wrongdoing and was unavailable to speak to.

He appealed the ban but Pub Watch said he and his party refused to leave the pub and upheld the punishment.

Mayoress Paula Carter, his partner, was given a year-long ban after trying to go to Nelsons Bar. She allegedly said they could have both pubs shut.

Pub Watch chairman Phil Cox, who sat on the committee that gave the ban, said he has now asked National Pub Watch to get involved.

He said: ‘We’re going to National Pub Watch to take it to government.’

Labour opposition leader Cllr Dennis Wright said: ‘I don’t think he should even be on the board.

‘Councillor Hook should reconsider the position.’

Cllr Hook said: ‘It’s not for Pub Watch to determine who I can or can’t have on the licensing board. Quite frankly we’ve got a borough to run.’

Cllr Ronayne resigned as mayor in the wake of the ban.