New bosses at troubled pub

NEW managers have been brought in to turn around a troubled pub in Weston facing a licence review.

Chris and Laura Godwin have vowed to reduce late-night disruption from the Walnut Tree in Winterstoke Road after taking over last week.

The pair, who replace outgoing boss Paul Clifford, say they will stop serving by 11.30pm every night, locking up no later than midnight, even at weekends.

Last week the Mercury revealed that the pub faces the licence review after two reports were made to North Somerset Council about music being played late at night, noisy customers and people fighting outside.

Mr Godwin said: “Our first job is to sort out the problem of late night disturbance, and we’re trying first by reducing opening hours to combat noise.

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“We are then hoping to start doing food, beginning with Sunday roasts very soon.

“We also want to further interact with the community to get more people down here, we’re confident this pub has a future.”

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Mr Godwin added if people wanted to stay out drinking late they should head down to bars in Weston town centre.

Licensees Scottish and Newcastle invited Mr Godwin to take over after manager Paul Clifford walked out.

Mr Clifford said: “I left because I did not want to risk losing my licence at a review.

“It’s a shame because this is all down to the work of a very few who have made fabricated accusations about the pub.”

Mr Clifford left despite attracting the support of more than 400 customers who signed a petition to keep the pub operating.

He had claimed to have turned the business into a ‘family-friendly pub’, barring 28 people – 13 following one incident in February - and curbed opening hours.

A consultation for the licence review is ongoing, with people being able to comment up to November 15.

The licensing sub-committee will then decide what action to take.

Councillors can modify the conditions of the licence and remove the designated premises supervisor.

It can also suspend the licence for up to three months or revoke it completely.

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