Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States last Tuesday. A momentous occasion that’s brought new hope to much of the world’s population. But local councillors Steve Reed and Florence Nosegbe missed it all because they were at a meeting of the Council’s Licensing Committee until midnight. But it was for a good reason – there is a real fight on the hands of Brixton Hill residents with a pub that’s been causing real problems for local people.
The Telegraph is a pub at the top end of Brixton Hill. It’s situated right next to a block of flats and opposite a large housing estate. The new owners have been using the venue to host all-night rave parties. The list of problems the neighbours report is horrific. Loud noise all night long so they can’t sleep. Fighting, drug taking, vomiting and urinating outside the pub and outside their windows. With this going on until 6am on a regular basis at weekends, the residents were at their wits end. They wanted the pub to moderate its behaviour. But when they tried to speak to the managers, they got no response. Just days before the Licensing Committee meeting, the Telegraph even sent round a letter to people living in the block telling them they had made up the nuisance they were reporting. Everyone was speechless.
When the hearing started, the applicants put in their request for a licence to open until 4am on week nights and 6am at weekends. Afterwards, local councillors Steve Reed and Florence Nosegbe joined a group of residents to make the case that this was entirely inappropriate in a residential area. They also pointed out that people who had shown such contemptuous disregard for their neighbours were hardly the right people to run a club in the area. The Committee agreed and slapped restrictions on the pub that means they have to close at 11pm on weeknights and 12 midnight at weekends. The residents were delighted at this real example of local democracy in action as the council put the needs of residents above the money-making plans of a group of club promoters who didn’t seem to care what trouble they cause ordinary people living alongside them.
Near neighbours are hoping to get some sleep now the Telegraph's been told to close its doors by midnight.