Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Row over birthday party until 3.30am at Highbridge's Morlands Social Club
A SOCIAL club has rejected police concerns that staging a pensioner's birthday party until 3.30am on a Sunday could cause a nuisance to neighbours and an “increased risk of crime and disorder”.
The Morlands Social Club in Highbridge has applied to extend its licensing hours beyond the normal 1.30am cut off, for club member Dave Hicks' 65th birthday party on February 24.
However, police have lodged an official objection, saying there have been “occasional incidents” at the club, and officers say there is no reason why the hours should be extended.
Sedgemoor District Council's licensing panel will decide on the matter on Friday.
Morlands licence holder Bridgitte Whitcombe, who applied for the extra hours, denied there had been problems at the venue in the past and said: “I cannot understand why they've objected.
“I found out last week and I was quite disappointed.
“I've been there ten years and I've never had any issue like this before.
“Dave is disappointed. When you have got a special birthday and you are seeing people you haven't seen for a long time, you want a chance to stay around and chat after the music has stopped.
“It's not going to be rowdy; far from it.
“I don't know what will happen on Friday but we will be going to the panel to make our case.
“The party is still going ahead whatever happens.”
In a letter to the licensing panel, Sgt Ian Kennett, of Burnham police, wrote: “We feel that an event until 3.30am will cause public nuisance when guests are leaving the location and cause an inconvenience to neighbours.
“We feel that if people are drinking until 3.30am there is an increased risk of crime and disorder as there are occasional incidents at the location.”
Sgt Kennett said the existing hours up to 1.30am would be adequate for the event, and asked the council to give the police's request “urgent attention and consideration and also action”.
The Weekly News has been unable to contact Mr Hicks.