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Birmingham bar sees licence revoked by council after COVID-19 breaches

The Licensing Sub-Committee at Birmingham City Council has revoked the premises licence of a bar in the Jewellery Quarter after it was found to be breaching COVID-19 guidelines.

The licence for PB’s Bar, at 54-57 Key Hill, Hockley, was revoked under the Licensing Act 2003, after West Midlands Police told at an expedited review on Monday (14 September 2020) how officers witnessed its failure to observe Government guidance to comply with COVID-19 regulations on at least seven occasions – with no social distancing or limiting the number of people on the premises – since early August.

The Designated Premises Supervisor has been removed, and the bar’s licence remains suspended pending any appeal hearing.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Businesses have a responsibility - not only to their staff and customers - but to the wider community and there must be consequences when COVID-19 guidance is simply ignored. This is deadly serious and Birmingham City Council will continue to work with West Midlands Police to enforce the guidelines.

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“Reports had been made to the council and the police that PB’s Bar failed to follow Government guidance and was operating with no regard for social distancing or public health.

“The way in which this premises was being run was endangering the public by risking the spread of COVID-19: It is this kind of behaviour that has contributed to restrictions being placed on Birmingham to try and control the sharp rise in cases in the city.”

Superintendent Gareth Morris, head of Neighbourhood Policing in Birmingham West, said: “It is regrettable that action had to be taken to close a business, particularly in the current climate where many businesses are struggling to recover.

“Officers and licencing staff made several attempts to advise the DPS but guidance was ignored and safe working practices were consistently breached. In light of the risks to public safety action was taken accordingly.

“This course of action was not taken lightly and it should act as a deterrent to the minority of premises which may still be breaching COVID-19 guidelines, that we will take such matters seriously.”

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