A licensing review for Battersea Mess, on Lavender Gardens, has been requested by a local resident on the grounds the existing conditions have not upheld the prevention of public nuisance licensing objective. I understand they seek a restriction of hours and additional conditions.
As a (semi) regular of the Mess I can’t be objective about the review, especially since my experience of the bar is that it is well managed and a welcome addition to the evening and cultural offer of Lavender Hill.
Having said that, the premises have long been largely empty (for example in the out of date Google Street View image). With the, mercifully brief, exception of Walkabout I probably wouldn’t be exaggerating much to suggest it never had more than a dozen customers in at any one time. The difference between a little used pub and a successful pub, restaurant and venue is going to be fairly significant. Though I’m not sure licensing should be used to inhibit success.
If you want to make a representation you have until 8 May.
An application has been made by Best One for an alcohol licence at 227-229 Eversleigh Road.
Their application appears quite straightforward, sale of alcohol from 6am until 11pm every day of the week. This would extend beyond the shop’s current opening hours (and I don’t know if it is an indication that the shop is looking to extend it’s hours), but would bring it more into line with similar stores operating nearby on Lavender Hill and Queenstown Road.
If you want to make a representation you have until 27 April. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:
I have a reputation for being a bit grumpy about people pretending they are in Clapham when they are, in fact, firmly in Battersea.
I’m not sure why this has developed, since intensive cognitive behavioural therapy and daily meditation normally keeps it in check. But I know a few issues do fester. One is ‘The Plough, Clapham’, probably more because – since leaving Wandsworth – Young’s has become a soulless hotel/pub chain and the beer is no longer what it once was.
Not content with naming themselves after an area several miles away. Sainsbury’s have compounded the sin by making up an entirely new district.
I’m not quite sure where the name originated. Maybe they genuinely thought people call the area Clapham St John’s. It’s entirely possible they liked the ecclesiastical sound of the name which gives it a rural feel. Perhaps they feel inadequate when compared to Tesco, so like to act like a corporate giant that has no connection with its local community.
I like to think it’s a new variation on the porn star/Star Wars/whatever naming games, and you take the name of the last place you got drunk and the church you were baptised. So the manager had to think about THAT night out, checked with their parents and lo Sainsbury’s Clapham St John’s was born. (If you are interested I wasn’t baptised, so can proudly say I live in plain old Battersea.)
I have attempted to raise this with Sainsbury’s via their website, but to no avail. Initially it was passed to their ‘Careline’, who ignored me for a few months. When I chased them up, they basically said “nothing to do with me, guv” (you could almost hear the Clapham St John’s accent) but said they’d pass it on to the relevant department and the issue would be “considered carefully.”
Perhaps I’m cynical, but I rather doubt it was considered at all; I don’t think Sainsbury’s is one of those retailers that especially strives to be part its local community. I’ve certainly heard nothing since.
Luckily, I have a blog, so in addition to therapy and mediation I can vent my frustration. As well as taking satisfaction that, living in Battersea, or Chelsea Lavender as some know it, there’s a Waitrose and an Asda that both know where they are.
The Shaftesbury Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting takes place tonight at 7pm in the Shaftesbury Club, 128, Lavender Hill.
I’m a fan of neighbourhood policing, but one of its weaknesses, I think, is that the public are not particularly empowered to hold the police to account. Part of this is in the weakness of the data provided.
To a degree this is not the fault of police (at least locally) since they are police or community support officers, not statisticians. They can hardly be expected to also give a robust analysis of crime data. The result is that members of the public tend to get a list of numbers at the meeting that are hard to make sense of and offer no real context.
I suspect the police may argue that mapping provides that accountability, but I’m not sure that in ordinary circumstances mapping enables people to get a feel for what is happening and the overall trends: in other words, are the police winning or losing?
My first attempt was to compare the figures for total offences in the ward over the past two years.
This compares the only monthly ward data available, from February 2010 until January 2012. My thinking was that comparing year for year would reveal any seasonal trends and allow an easy comparison, the 2011/12 year should be lower if the police are succeeding in reducing crime.
However, the figures are relatively low (between 58 and 133 crimes per month) and there are all sorts of factors that can create peaks and troughs that skew the comparison.
My next try was a cumulative figure for the two years in question, in other words, the total crime since the start point (in this case February 2010 and February 2011).
My thinking is that this helps make the graphs easier to read, because they don’t have the jumps, and makes it clearer that year on year performance is better or worse. However, I think it does make it a bit harder to see the comparative trend.
My final attempt at graphing performance was a running cumulative total, so the data point for each month contains the total crime for the preceding 12 months.
This has the major disadvantage that the Met only provide 24 months of data, so there is no ward data available before February 2010. The only older data is at borough level and the most recent provided is for the 2008/09 financial year. To see if it made sense I bodged something together from the London Datastore, which has crime rates by ward up to the 2009/2010 financial year. Far from perfect, but it means I can create data for February 2009 to January 2010 that isn’t too far wide of the mark.
[NB My assumption here is that crime divides equally by month. The rate for 2009/10 was 90.4 crimes per 1,000 people, and the population estimate was 13,545. Meaning a total of 1,224 crimes or 102 a month. The rate for 2008/2009 was 93.6 crimes per 1,000, and the population estimate was 13,510. Meaning a total of 1,265 crimes or 105 a month.]
Imperfect data aside, I think I prefer this one. It does make crime look high, since a twelve month figure is plotted to a single month, however, it removes the sudden changes of monthly data, makes it clear that, overall crime is lower, but also retains a sense of trend, since the line moves up when crime increases compared to the same month from the previous year.
Would publishing these regularly help the ward panels hold their SNTs to account? I don’t know. Indeed, not being a statistician myself I don’t know how valid they are. However, as a resident, I feel I have a better idea of the general crime picture and trends in the ward because of them. What do you think?
The review of the Beaufoy Bar’s license took place last night. I attended as a local councillor, making a representation on behalf of colleagues and some ward residents (despite the bar’s lawyer arguing I had no right to represent the residents).
Licensing panels are run almost like a court hearing, with various parties giving their evidence and then the opportunity for questions, although not cross-examination. However, and crucially as it turned out, that evidence can only amplify the previously submitted representation shared with the relevant parties.
During last night’s hearing the police and council’s noise team referred to incidents that had not been previously shared. The bar’s lawyer, quite rightly, argued against this. And the panel, again quite rightly, decided to adjourn until the reports to which the police and noise team referred can be shared with the bar and the panel.
When the panel reconvenes it will be considering this set of evidence and then deciding what, if any, measures to take (the council report outlines the possible actions and some recommendations from the police and council). I’ll obviously post here as soon as I know the final outcome.
I sometimes wonder if introducing the no-right turns on Clapham Common Northside is the worse thing the council has ever done.
That was a rhetorical statement, I’m fully aware there are plenty of decisions made by the council that some find very controversial. However, since its introduction the no-right turn has been a consistent source of complaint to me and my ward colleagues.
The no-right turns were introduced following a long running campaign by some residents in the roads between Lavender Hill and Clapham Common Northside. However, perhaps the first sign that it would not be popular was the consultation before the introduction: the returns were almost evenly split between those who supported a no-right turn ban and those opposed.
In other words, whatever we did, we’d annoy as many people as we’d please.
The scheme was introduced for a trial period because the result was so close. The trial period is coming to a close and over the next few days people in the area should be receiving another consultation form to give their opinion.
If my correspondence for the past few months is anything to go by I suspect there will be a more conclusive result. Only a few have voiced support for the scheme, most complaining about significant increases to their journey, extra traffic on the roads without controls and businesses on Lavender Hill who feel they have lost out on passing trade.
But then people rarely rally in support of a status quo unless it is under threat, so maybe there will be another close result.
The consultation letters and forms should be distributed to several thousand homes and businesses in the coming days. Keep an eye out for them if you want to have your say.
This blog has become awfully dull lately, seeming to comprise little more than licensing applications.
Of course, some might say that it was dull before and the licensing applications are what really makes it. And it would be a dull world if everyone thought the same way I do. For one thing, this application would certainly have no chance of success, because of the atrocious use of the ‘Z’ to call the premises ‘Bluez’, when I’m sure they actually mean Blues.
Perhaps, I’m just being old and grumpy. And in a bid to be balanced I’m going to write the rest of my usual licensing spiel in the style of Bluez.
Bluez, at 42 Lavender Hill have applied for a new licence to sell alcohol on the premisez between 11.00am and 10.30pm seven dayz a week.
The premisez have gone through a couple of changez quite rapidly in recent yearz. It had been a second hand shop for a long time (and as long as I can remember), as featured in the Google Streetview at the time of posting. However, last year it became Terre du Sud, a rather nice Italian cafe which I suzpect never quite got the bizniz it deserved. Clearly it is time for a new incarnation.
My initial reaction is that it’s a fairly minor application, well within the borough’z guideline hourz and unlikely to cause any probz for anyone.
However, if you want to make a representation about the application you have until 10 February. Representationz must relate to the four licensing objectives:
A licensing review for the Beaufoy Bar on Lavender Hill has been requested by a local resident.
As the law currently stands anyone can ask the council to review the licence of a local premises (and the most recent act expands that power) if they feel the licence does not uphold the licensing objectives. In this case the prevention of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance.
For all the time I’ve been involved in the area the Beaufoy has been a source of complaints. Indeed, one of my very first bits of casework after being elected in 1998 was representing a group of residents who opposed the Beaufoy’s application to extend their opening hours (as I recall they wanted to open late seven days a week). In that case the application was rejected, but to be fair to the Beaufoy when they applied again six months later none of the residents wanted to object; each felt the bar had improved dramatically and a few had even become regulars.
My experience has been that a similar pattern has been followed in the years since then. Problems will mount until someone complains, the licensing department will investigate (and I’ve certainly requested several investigations on behalf of residents) and generally the situation improves for the time being. While I wouldn’t call it an ideal state of affairs, the council has to gather a lot of evidence to take action.
If you want to make a representation about the premises as part of this review you have until 3 February. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives: