A popular Ramsgate pub will shut after police asked for its licence to be revoked

The Ravensgate Arms will shut tomorrow (May 20)

The Ravensgate Arms will close tomorrow (May 20) after Thanet council revoked its licence.

The action was taken against the King Street pub, which opened in 2014, following a request from Kent Police.

.A submission from Ch Insp Sharon Adley said the licence terms for the pub were continually breached, raising police concerns about how it was being run. Ch Insp Adley asked the authority to completely revoke the licence.

Members of Thanet council’s licensing committee agreed to the request at a meeting on Wednesday.

In a statement on facebook pub bosses revealed they would be calling time forever tomorrow night.

‘Deep regret’

They said: “It is with deep regret and heavy heart that as of closing time Saturday 20th May, despite our best efforts, The Ravensgate Arms will call time at the bar for one last time.

“We would like to offer our heartfelt apologies to all our customers, We are all human and by nature fallible, mistakes are made and lessons learnt.

“However it has not proved possible to convince authorities that what has taken place here is part of a bigger picture and like all deserve a chance to learn, grow and continue to provide the community with a much needed service.

Photo Darran Cowd

“We hope that in the future Ramsgate will find a place for you all to continue building the amazing community that has grown within these four walls and beyond. It has been an absolute pleasure and a joy to provide you with, to the best of our abilities, a place we could all feel a part of.

“We would also like to thank you all for your continued support and friendship and express how much we have enjoyed our time serving this great community. We hope we can end on a positive note and see you all at the bar over the next couple of days.”

Police concerns

Ch Insp Adley said in her report to councillors that police wanted a full revocation of the premises license after concerns were first raised when a male was discovered with injuries at the site in March.

She said officers then discovered the bar was operating outside of the agreed closing time of midnight, that the designated premises supervisor had never worked at the pub and the DPS had not been changed to the current manager.

She added: “The premises appear to be run by staff who have no idea about the 4 licensing objectives or what a premises licence means. It can be evidenced that the premises operate by their own rules and will stay open long past its licensed hours for their own profitable gain.”

Following the decision police licensing enforcement officer, PC Darren Dennett, said: “A licence should be fully supported and followed and in this case it was not. There was no urgency to resolve the breaches and as a result this pub has lost its licence.

“We work closely with the council on this type of issue and as Ramsgate starts to regenerate we welcome new businesses. However it is key that the licensing objectives that the council sets out are followed, if not then businesses will be challenged.

“Kent Police will not tolerate irresponsible drinking, which can lead to crime and anti-social behaviour. The public can be reassured that officers will continuously monitor licensed premises in the area.”

Anger

Ravensgate regulars have reacted to the news with outrage, with many calling for a petition to be raised objecting to the decision.

Others were disgusted at the severity of the penalty and questioned why the pub was limited to 11.30pm last orders when surrounding venues were able to operate into the early hours of the morning.

One customer told The Isle of Thanet News: “It is literally the safest, most crime-free, happiest pub in Ramsgate. A huge number of people are distraught and we just can’t fathom how it can happen considering some of the other venues operating in Ramsgate.”

Photo Ravensgate Arms

The pub was popular for its real ales, speciality food and events such as record sales, DJ spots and music nights.

Labour county councillor Karen Constantine is investigating whether the pub could be declared an asset of community value to ensure its future.

She said: ” “It’s very sad to see a great little community pub close. Where such places ‘spring up’ they can have a very positive impact on the local community and promote regeneration.

“Something King Street, Ramsgate badly needs. I would urge the owners to seriously consider an appeal to the Magistrates. There is such a groundswell of public support for the pub. It’s is noteworthy that this pub, has a strong following amongst local women who feel that this is one a few safe feeling places to go alone. Safety is an important issue for Women in Ramsgate.”

There is a right of appeal to a magistrates’ court within 21 days of the date of the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee.

Thanet council says:

“Due to multiple breaches in licence conditions, the Ravensgate Arms in Ramsgate has had its licence revoked by Thanet District Council.

“Despite these breaches being discussed with the pubs management at length, no commitment or reassurance was given to comply with the licencing conditions, therefore the council had no choice but to revoke its licence. Breaches to the licence included selling alcohol beyond permitted times and the premises staying open beyond its agreed operating hours. Without sufficient monitoring these sorts of breaches can lead to an increased risk of anti-social behaviour, which is indeed what has happened at these premises.

“The Ravensgate Arms has a strong community following in Ramsgate and it is regrettable that the actions of the licence holders have led to this outcome. However, we remain open to working with the owners and licensees to offer advice and support.

“Together with Kent Police, the council works hard to ensure licence conditions for premises across Thanet are adhered to in order to prevent instances of public nuisance, crime and disorder, and to protect public safety – any breaches in these conditions are taken very seriously. The licence holder at the Ravensgate Arms has 21 days to appeal the council’s decision.”

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Our sincere thanks go out to the saddest of sad: Mr. Nigel Askew, who made this possible in the first place.
    He will be remembered forever.

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