Old Town landlord will shut pub after complaints
A LICENSEE in Leamington’s Old Town is so fed up with receiving complaints from officials that he is closing down his pub.
And not only will Michael Drake, who runs the Queen Victoria pub in High Street, lose his job and his home, but he will also have to force his six employees -including his wife Sarah – to give up their jobs as well.
As has been reported in the Courier during the past few months, Mr Drake has been ordered by Warwick District Council to change the name and colour of the Enterprise Inns-owned pub, remove various signs and lights and take down flags and banners he had put up to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the European Championships football tournament.
More recently, environmental health officers from the council entered the building when Mr Drake had organised for a live band to play to celebrate the pub’s first anniversary, claiming that they had received complaints about the noise.
Speaking after attending an interview under caution he was summoned to at the council’s Riverside House headquarters on Monday, Mr Drake, whose birthday was on that day, said: “Officers entered the pub the minute the band started playing. They could not have been reacting to a complaint that quickly.
“This is a witch hunt – they just won’t leave us alone for five minutes.”
Mr Drake, who lives on the pub premises with his wife and two teenage children, will face a £20,000 fine if prosecuted over the noise complaint.
He said: “I am in the process of trying to close the place down before they close us down. The council is making it impossible for us to trade.
“I feel sorry for the customers. They come here because they love the place.
“I will never run a pub in this district ever again.”
In a letter sent to Mr Drake, planning enforcement officer Dave Fry said the actions for which Mr Drake had been approached had been “unlawful”.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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