Labour councillor threatens to revoke licence of pub that wouldn't let her in after closing hours

A Labour town councillor is reported to have threatened a pub's licensing arrangement after being refused entry after closing hours

by The Commentator on 26 April 2013 12:19

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Pub landlord Gareth Davies, of The Town House in Llandudno in Wales, made a complaint about the actions of Councillor Angie O’Grady when the town councillor demanded entry to the pub after an evening playing bingo.

The pub however, was closed for the evening as dictated by the council's licensing policies. O'Grady however, insisted on being let in.

Upon being told by Davies that the establishment was closed for the night, O'Grady is said to have  tried to gain “by saying she was a town councillor”, according to the landlord.

After staff refused her entry in fear of losing their licence, O'Grady reportedly sent out abusive e-mails – including one to First Minister Carwyn Jones. The Public Services Ombudsman has upheld the complaint against the Labour councillor and stated that her actions outside of the pub in November 2011, and in the subsequent e-mails, breached councillors’ code of conduct.

The Ombudsman said Mr Davies claimed that when she was refused she threatened to have the licence removed as she claimed to sit on the licensing committee. She also “became abusive and made threats concerning his licence and his business”, Mr Davies alleged. She is said to have called Gareth Davies “a little bully”, and a “pathetic little man”.

She then “circulated unfounded written allegations about his behaviour to other town councillors and senior elected members which were investigated by Conwy County Council”.

Recipients were Cllr Phillip Evans, Cllr Jobi Hold and First Minister Carwyn Jones AM. In her email, she wrote there had been an “antagonised attempt to force me from the Town House pub”. It was claimed she added: “The guy on the door who I later found out to be the owner/publican got quite agitated with me and said he did not want to lose his licence. I explained that was fine.”

However the Ombudsman found that, “On balance, I think it more likely than not that Cllr O’Grady did try to use her position to gain entry to Mr Davies’ premises, thereby attempting to gain an advantage for herself.”

He added: “It seems that if the main purpose of her e-mail was to seek emotional support, as she has suggested, then her family and friends would have been better placed to provide it, not the county council Cabinet Member or the First Minister.”

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