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East Northamptonshire Council revokes shop licence

Published Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Taken in the best interests of the public.

A Rushden off-licence will no longer be able to sell alcohol after having its licence revoked by East Northamptonshire Council.

Northamptonshire Police requested a review of the licence of Higham Superstore on Higham Road in Rushden, following persistent sales of alcohol to underage people.

East Northamptonshire Council's Licensing Panel revoked the premises' licence on 24 February 2014 and, subject to an appeal, the shop will be forced to stop selling alcohol in 21 days.

The panel agreed that the actions of the premises licence holder Mr Rajaratnam undermined the licensing objective of the protection of children from harm, making this a very serious matter. They concluded that they had no option but to revoke the licence.

Chair of the Licensing Panel and Deputy Leader, Councillor Glenn Harwood MBE, said: “Based on the evidence presented by the Police, Trading Standards and the ENC Licensing Enforcement Officer, it was clear that despite proof of under-aged sales having taken place and the Licence Holder subsequently receiving advice about that, a further incident of under aged sales took place and this time, the licence holder himself was the seller.

“These offences were serious and persistent, so the panel felt it would not be appropriate just to suspend the licence for a period of time, especially as there had already been plenty of opportunity to improve.  So, the decision to revoke the license was made.

“We’re committed to working with businesses so that we have high standards of alcohol retailing in East Northamptonshire, and I’m pleased to be able to say the vast majority of licence holders co-operate fully with us to achieve that aim.

“However; those who fail to comply with  their licensing conditions can endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents, and in particular, our children.  The action we have just taken demonstrates the council’s intent not to just sit back and ignore these sorts of offences.

“The panel’s decision has been taken in the best interests of the public, and in particular, our young people.”

The licence holder has a right to appeal the decision and so the revocation will not have effect until the time period for appeal has expired and any appeal has been determined.

If anyone has any concerns regarding licensed premises within East Northamptonshire, they should contact the Council’s licensing enforcement officer on 01832 742241.