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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:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing

oneplace screenNothing like a happy hypocrite. Despite whole-heartedly concurring with the council’s decision to do minimal work for the assessment I’m still chuffed to see that Wandsworth is an excellent council according to the Audit Commission.

What has been interesting, though, since the council’s announcement are the number of people who – privately and publicly – have backed the council. As far as I know none have gone as far as well and H&F have, in saying that we will offer the minimum co-operation with the review process, but it’s clear that there is a lot of disquiet out there and the process will have to change if it isn’t to be discredited.

If you are interested you can find Wandsworth’s assessment on the oneplace website (although the second link, at the time of writing, wasn’t working).