A SECOND pub faces having its licence reviewed after being pulled up for allegedly serving alcohol while the country is on lockdown.
Staff at the Top End Bar are thought to have been pulling pints when it was meant to have been shut as the COVID-19 crisis means venues cannot open.
It is thought the gate at the front of the Ashton establishment was spotted open during a drive past.
Now it is believed Tameside Council officials will hold a hearing to review its licence in the coming months.
The Top End Bar, on Stamford Street, is the second pub in the borough to allegedly break lockdown rules.
The Correspondent told how a landlord insists a high-ranking policeman who outed the venue for playing host to a party has ‘blown everything out of all proportion.’
Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, took the step of publicly naming The Billy Goat in Mossley for still serving in what is believed to have been a gathering of bar staff and people who live there.
“Stop it,” he barked to the pub. “You are putting people’s lives at risk, as well as being very, very selfish to the wider community.”
But licensee Victor Bowers hit back, insisting Chief Con Hopkins is making a mountain out of a molehill.
He said: “We’re not opening at all. It’s been blown out of all proportion.”
Chief Con Hopkins believes any court action against pubs that continue to serve customers should be done through civil action rather than criminal action.
He said: “My personal view is any legal action should be done through a civil recourse rather than a police resource.
“I’ve got plenty of other things to go on.”
A total of 35 licensed premises were visited by either police or Tameside Council officers to make sure lockdown rules are being obeyed just after they were introduced.
“The visits were intelligence driven and also with the gut feeling that something wasn’t right,” explained Cllr David Sweeton, chair of the authority’s speakers’ panel (liquor licencing).
“This is a public health matter and people are taking the mickey.
“If pubs and licensed premises have lock-ins and entrance by the back door, it will not be tolerated.
“We can legally prosecute with fines and imprisonment and, once this emergency is over, we will take steps to remove their liquor licences.”