Friday, 16 September 2011

Licensing gets tough?

So I'm an advocate of the pub industry, I believe that alcohol is a valuable social lubricant and that under the right kind of supervision great fun can be had, great ideas can be exchanged and great relationships formed. 

For me pubs and bars are a vital part of communities and, when looked after by responsible owners, landlords and managers, are the best places for the consumption of alcohol to take place. 

What really grinds my gears though is walking through town and seeing once great pubs and some potentially great bars suffering in the recession. Further on you go past 'super bars' and tacky shit holes which are full to the brim with gyrating masses laced out of their tiny minds on chemically produced beer, fluorescent fizzy cocktails in bottles and semi viscous, flavoured and coloured industrial spirits.

Why's that then? Because if you make products very cheaply you can sell them very cheaply. Sell cheap - attract customers, young customers who want to fraternise with other young customers and find that getting smashed as quickly as possible is the best way to do that.

So here for once is the licensing authorities doing something half decent that should level the playing field for those who sell proper drinks at responsible prices and still uphold the duty of care that everyone in this industry should uphold.

Please see the message below from West Yorkshire Police Licensing:

With Freshers' week approaching West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City
Council are more than aware of some of the heavily discounted prices of
alcohol being advertised throughout the city at various premises on their
specific student nights. We view some of this pricing and the associated
promotions as completely irresponsible. I write to remind you of the
mandatory conditions on all of your licences in relation to irresponsible
promotions. I also warn you that we consider 'students nights' and severely
reduced pricing of alcohol at these events to fall under the following:

'activities carried on for the purpose of encouraging the sale or supply of
alcohol for consumption on the premises in a manner which carries a
significant risk of leading or contributing to crime and disorder,
prejudice to public safety, public nuisance, or harm to children.

Should premises choose to continue with these irresponsible promotions West
Yorkshire Police will have no option other than to consider review
proceedings against their licences. Please remember that we will also
disclose evidence at any hearing of other incidents associated with your

This is the first and only warning we will be giving and we expect
appropriate action to be taken immediately.

As the students return to their universities let's all show them what drinking and pubs should be about. Many of us have suffered from the media portraying the industry as unhealthy and debauched - we need to teach these 'students' what it's all about...   


  1. Fair point, but most students don't have a huge heap of cash or steady wage to fall back on. When I first went to uni in 2004, I was lucky enough to discover North, back then a pint of Erdinger was £2.90 (expensive in those days), and the cost has risen astronomically ever since. Most students simply can't afford to pay £3-5 per pint, so there's a definite need for the promotions, as socialising is such an important part of student life. Give the kids a break!

  2. Agreed, there's nothing wrong with promotions per se - it's a question of responsibility. 4 jaegerbombs for £5 and suchlike get people mindlessly pissed very quickly.

    Also I'm fairly convinced that packing people in 'super bars' and getting them mindlessly pissed on chemical booze is what causes the problems that the authorities worry about.

    I also think that proper hops are a sedative and thus make people calmer... But that's a whole other story...