Alcohol and cigarettes will no longer be sold from a Stratford shop after its premises licence was handed over to officers at the start of a licensing hearing called by the local authority yesterday, Wednesday.
Moments before the hearing could begin an adviser acting on behalf of Foad Weysi, the licence holder for Quick Stop Shop, Greenhill Street, presented the paperwork to a solicitor for Stratford District Council. An attempt by Mr Weysi to transfer the licence to somebody else in December had been blocked by the council due to police concerns surrounding the new incumbent.
This week’s hearing had been called to review the premises licence following a request from a licensing officer with the council on the grounds of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm. It followed a series of visits to the shop by trading standards and police when counterfeit cigarettes and vodka were seized.
Having surrendered the licence, Mr Weysi’s representative Abul Azad told the meeting: “Mr Weysi has decided that in view of the circumstances he will surrender his personal licence as well.
“We deeply regret that this hearing was necessary. Mr Weysi had sold the business about 18 months ago but unfortunately he did not realise that he had to contact Stratford Council to confirm that this transaction had taken place or that the new owner needed to apply.
“When we reviewed the evidence that was submitted to this panel by the officers of Stratford Council and Warwickshire trading standards, Mr Weysi and I were disgusted at what had gone on at the premises and we fully understand the concern of officers that such an abuse of licensing regulations should take place here in a town like Stratford - it should clearly never happen again.
“At this moment in time the premises are compliant with the prohibition of the sale of alcohol and tobacco and I’m sure we’ll hear from the new owner as to what steps he will take to make sure the premises remain compliant.
“It really pains me to hear that children on their way to school here in Stratford were sold tobacco.”