Posted on: Thursday 10 September 2020
In the effort to keep residents and visitors to Torfaen safe, the Council’s Public Protection service has been working closely with businesses, providing advice and support to help them control the risks associated with coronavirus. Whilst the majority of businesses have been following the rules, a small minority have shown a flagrant disregard for the law, putting their customers and staff at risk.
Following the identification of persistent breaches at Castell-y-Bwch, Henllys Lane, Cwmbran during lockdown, the Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee met to review their premises licence on 3 September 2020.
The Sub-Committee determined that the licensing objectives of Public Safety and the Prevention of Crime and Disorder had not been promoted and consequently the decision was made to revoke the premises licence.
Gwent Police visited on 6 May and found persons consuming food and drinks on the premises contrary to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 that were in effect at the time. The Council’s Environmental Health Team issued a Prohibition Notice on the premises on 7 May under the Regulations. Later that day, an officer from Gwent Police visited and identified individuals drinking on the premises, with no social distancing taking place.
Further visits were carried out by the Police on 2 June 2020 and 12 June 2020, and on both occasions officers found evidence of persons consuming food and drink on the premises.
Gwent Police Chief superintendent Mark Hobrough said:
“Our investigation, in co-ordination with Torfaen County Borough Council’s environmental health team, uncovered serious breaches of the legislation on several occasions.
“As this incident shows, we – together with our partners – will take action to keep the public safe if no alternative is left, particularly as local measures have been brought in other parts of our force area.
“We’ll continue to do so if businesses, and the public, continue to flout the law especially after we have engaged with, encouraged and educated people beforehand.”
Councillor Giles Davies, Chair of Licensing Committee said “The Council seeks to work with businesses to help them comply with the rules. However, where offences are identified that put the public at unacceptable risk, tough action will be taken.
We hope this case makes other businesses think twice about ignoring the rules.
We would like to thank Gwent Police for their support with this case.”
The licence holder of the Castel-Y-Bwch has 21 days to appeal the decision. If an appeal is not lodged, the premises will have to cease licensable activities.