Petition to get back pub’s late night licence

The Wheelwright Arms
The Wheelwright Arms

A petition to save the late licence at The Wheelwright Arms has gained nearly 600 signatures.

The family run pub on Guildford Street started the petition following Luton Borough Council’s decision in July to reduce the opening hours from 24 hours to 7am till 1am, because of noise complaints.

Landlord Helena Dalgarno wants the council to reconsider. She said: “Our customers are not happy and we have a lot of support from the community.

“We have lost customers who popped in for a drink after a late shift and guests from the bed and breakfast upstairs would come for a drink late at night or early in the morning.

“The licence was changed because of noise complaints, it was just loud chitter chatter, there was never any trouble. “We have always looked after our customers. I always say to my staff, if anything ever kicks off, stop serving drinks and calm people down.

“I am very passionate about my job and I care about my customers, we are a family run pub, it is me, my sister and my two sons.

“I am disappointed with the council for coming down so hard on us.”

A council spokesperson said: “A number of complaints from residents have been received since 2015 relating to noise in the early hours of the morning from the beer garden and loud music from external speakers.

“Monitoring equipment was installed nearby and many efforts were made to advise the licensee of the issues and possible repercussions of failing to control the noise.

“A noise abatement notice and then a final warning were served, however it continued to be a problem and further complaints were received, therefore an application for a licence review was made.

“Licensing Panel decided to restrict the times on the licence to 7am-1am, Monday-Sunday. Public safety conditions were also imposed requiring use of CCTV, registered door supervisors and plastic glasses on Luton Town FC match days.

“The Council’s licensing objectives are very clear that premises are not permitted to cause a noise nuisance to local residents and when there is statutory evidence, the environmental protection team must take action to prevent reoccurrence.”

One person commented on the petition: “An important part of the new cultural area is being able to have a late drink in a great atmosphere. Essential to Luton’s progress as a town.”

At 1000 signatures Helena will take the petition to the council, to sign go to: www.change.org/p/luton-borough-council-save-our-late-licence.