Cricket pavilion bar licence hit for six

Seaham Park Cricket Clubhouse, in Seaham Town Park.
Seaham Park Cricket Clubhouse, in Seaham Town Park.
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A SPORTS club accused of selling booze to children has had its licence suspended for three months.

Measures drawn up in a mediation session between Durham Police and Seaham Park Cricket Club have been agreed by councillors.

They were put together after the force first urged licensing chiefs to revoke the club’s permit to sell booze.

It followed a host of incidents, where officers said they found children as young as 13 with drinks from the bar and alcohol the kids had taken in themselves.

They also said adults in the pavilion were drunk while under-age partygoers were there.

A parent of one 14-year-old boy, who had been a member of the club’s junior squad, wrote to police to say they considered the pavilion a “youth club that sold alcohol”.

Dawdon councillor Bob Arthur expressed concern at Durham County Council’s statutory licensing sub-committee that two committee members who are to be removed as part of the package of conditions would be able to return in future.

The authority’s solicitor said the removal was a “substantial step” and believed remaining committee members would “think carefully about going forward” when electing in future.

Coun Colin Carr, chairman of the committee, said: “The committee has decided to accept the mediation on the understanding that all of these 12 elements are substantially enforced.”

After the meeting a club spokesman said: “We recognise there have been some shortcomings.

“Improvements have now been made with the help of Matthew Foster, at Mincoffs Solicitors, and we are working in partnership with the police.

“We would like to reassure our neighbours and the police that we will work hard and the club will continue to support the development of the junior and senior cricket teams.”

He said the six of remaining committee members had completed training, and three will become personal licence holders.

The two committee members to be removed will remain involved in the club.

They have rejected police claims they struggled to stand because they were drunk when officers arrived one evening.

Other conditions attached to the club include ensuring competent staff are on duty when drink is served, and refresher training every six months for those working on the bar.

They also included signs asking customers to consider residents as they leave and not shout, and posters enforcing the “Challenge 25” rule, the launch of a refusals book to log sales turned down, and no birthday parties for under-21s.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham