From the Dover Express, 15 December 2005. Report by Laura Smith.
Licensing problems force businessman out of town.
BUSINESSMAN Jim Gleeson says he will not invest in Dover again after
selling Market Square bar The Ellie, blaming "unnecessary problems" with
the police for his decision.
The bar has been bought by London based entrepreneur Janak Masrani, who also purchased nightclub Studio One
from Mr Gleeson last year.
Mr Gleeson was not available for interview
after the sale last week, but briefed company secretary Amanda Robinson
on the reasons for the move.
She said: "The reason he's sold is because
of problems with the licensing authorities and counter-productive
relations with the police.
"I think he feels victimised by them.
fed up with it in Dover."
Mr Gleeson had previously told the Express
he was involved in an ongoing and heated dispute with the force over the
way The Ellie was run.
Earlier this year, the police objected to the
bar's public entertainments licence being renewed over a string of
alleged breaches, including public drunkenness.
Mr Gleeson refuted many
of the claims
and won his case at the end of an acrimonious, five-hour hearing, but
was told he would be prosecuted for allegedly allowing too many people
inside the premises at one time.
Miss Robinson said the "final straw"
came this month, when the bar applied to have the maximum number of
people allowed inside raised from 100 to 150.
She said: "We thought it
would be a way of solving previous problems. Everyone approved it except
"We don't know why they rejected it, because they haven't
called us back.
''All the staff are really saddened."
Merritt of the Neighbourhood Policing and Strategic Crime Reduction Unit
said he could not comment on individual cases. where legal
proceedings were pending.
He added reasons behind any objections were submitted to the licensing
authority and forwarded to the applicant.
Mr Gleeson also owns cafe C'est La Vie, which is not on the market.