Council corrects itself after suspending bar’s licence

The Corner Bar in Arbroath was accused of not paying its fees when it had.

Council corrects itself after suspending bar’s licence LDRS

Angus Council has corrected itself after suspending the licence of a bar it accused of not paying fees, when they had been paid in full.

Councillors on the local licensing board agreed to suspend the licence for The Corner Bar in Arbroath last week over allegations that it owed £280.

Unknown to the board, the fees had been paid in full earlier this month.

Landlady Anne Coates said she had been surprised to find the record had not been corrected before the meeting took place.

“It isn’t the case that we haven’t paid the fees – we have,” she said.

“The council said they tried to phone us but they’ll have been phoning the pub – and we’re shut.

“We aren’t opening until May because we only have three tables outside, not enough to justify opening, but we have paid what we owed.”

Council leader David Fairweather and depute provost Craig Fotheringham sought to defer The Corner Bar’s case to a future meeting, but this motion was voted down 8-2 by the rest of the board.

An Angus Council spokeswoman said: “I can confirm the licence for the Corner Bar, Arbroath, is not suspended and the fee has been paid.

“The licence holder has been advised and is aware that they are able to open their premises.”

Elsewhere, a Forfar coffee shop owner has escaped punishment after sending licensing chiefs a swear-laden letter refusing to pay licensing fees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Philip Lomond sent a foul-mothed message to Angus chiefs saying he would not pay the council until his “right to earn a living is afforded” as proprietor of The Mill coffee shop on Dundee Road, formerly known as Lochlands. He has since apologised and paid the outstanding £280 in full.

Solicitor Janet Hood, representing The Mill, said the “mild-mannered” Lomond had suffered financially during the pandemic and chose to vent his frustration on licensing officers.

She said: “It’s all been very difficult but there’s still no excuse for swearing.

“I know this chap because I work for his dad in various businesses, I’ve known Philip for something like six years.

“Normally I would say he was a mild-mannered gentleman. This was just an absolute aberration.

“He has apologised very fully to the officer and the board. I don’t like my clients acting in this manner.”

Elsewhere, the licensing board suspended the licence for Forfar pub The Workhouse after its owners failed to pay £220 of outstanding fees. The venue, on West High Street, appears to have closed some time ago and is now a beauty salon.

By local democracy reporter Jon Brady

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