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License expiry scuppers Stone pub's music plans

By Stone Edition  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

------ Teresa and Custodio Pinto

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A STONE pub's plans to stage a musical fund-raiser for a town festival have been pulled – after the landlord entered voluntary liquidation.

The Crown and Anchor in Stone was set to host live music for 250 people in its car park on Saturday night as part of the town's day of music and fun.

The event has been organised by Stone traders to raise money for next year's Stone Music and Arts Festival after this year's extravaganza was cancelled because of funding issues.

The events planned for Stone's Market Square, including a music quiz, stalls and live music from local performers, will run 11am-7.30pm.

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But Staffordshire Police objected to Crown and Anchor licensee Custodio Pinto's application to Stafford Borough Council for a temporary event notice in the Station Road pub's car park.

The council's licensing committee was due to determine the application on Tuesday but it was withdrawn during the hearing after it was revealed Mr Pinto had entered voluntary liquidation on July 14.

He had 28 days to transfer the premises licence to someone else, but the council had not received a request, the meeting was told. The licence expired on Monday.

Mr Pinto declined to comment after the meeting.

Sergeant Tracey Carsley of Staffordshire Police's licensing unit, said: "There is nothing on the application that states what steps the applicant intends to take to ensure that the licensing objectives are upheld. During recent licensing visits to the premise Staffordshire Police have found a substantial number of breaches of the premise licence and were met with a 'disinterested' response from the Designated Premise Supervisor.

"Given the nature and location of the event we would want to be assured that appropriate steps were being taken to ensure that this event does not contribute to further crime and disorder and cause problems for the local community"

Concerns raised by police included high readings at the pub when drug swabs were carried out, incidents of drunk and disorderly behaviour and breaches of licence conditions governing door supervision.

Brian Wain, speaking on behalf of Mr Pinto, said: "None of the incident (logs) say people were arrested inside the premises; they were all outside on the street. There are three premises located within a short space in the town centre."

Mr Wain added that he did not think it was necessary to give the steps being taken to maintain licensing objectives before the hearing, as they were to be presented during the session.

Mr Pinto told the hearing he had prepared a risk assessment for the pub event, which was due to take place between 6pm and 10pm on Saturday.

Planned measures included installing temporary 2m high fencing around the car park to stop access to the event from the street, CCTV coverage, door staff monitoring audience capacity, regular observation of areas including toilets by staff and entry to the car park through the pub only.

The Crown and Anchor is owned by Enterprise Taverns. Last year it underwent a major refurbishment and it serves up meals as well as drinks.

Stone Music and Arts Festival is one of the area's most popular free music events, offering a mix of genres from classical and jazz to folk, blues, rock and pop since 2008.

This year's event was cancelled after main sponsor WWRD pulled out but the organising team are determined to stage an event in 2015.

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