Gwalia social club in Harlesden loses its licence for good
17:19 31 August 2016
A social club in Harlesden has lost its battle to keep its licence amid claims that staff turned a blind eye to violent clashes among drinkers.
Gwalia Working Men’s Club in Manor Park Road, was stripped of its licence in March by Brent Council after police compiled a damning dossier slamming the club’s management.
Gwalia lodged an appeal against the council’s decision to revoke the venue’s ‘club certificate’ licence but it has been rejected.
The venue will no longer be able to serve alcohol so could face closure.
Brian Simmons, the club’s chairman, was accused of ‘clear mismanagement’ in the report which alleged warring drinkers were allowed to ‘fight it out’ instead of the police being called and violent clashes took place in the presence of children.
It also claimed staff ignored fights between drinkers as it allowed the club to keep a £500 deposit fee paid to hire the venue.
Police claim that at a private engagement party last August, which the report states Mr Simmons denied ever taking place, officers arrived to find members of the travelling community outside the club, several with “blood on their faces” and one man “lying in the road unconscious with what appeared a head injury”.
They had been inside the club when two separate groups started fighting.
The bride-to-be called the police when the fight started saying people were getting injured and she feared for the children who were inside.
She said her deposit had been retained even though her group had nothing to do with the fighting.
Last October a meeting was held between police and Gwalia committee members where it was agreed that the club would submit temporary event notices (TEN) for all non-member functions.
It was also agreed that committee members would act as door stewards for every non-member event, there would be no smoking or congregating at the front of the building and no pint glasses or bottles used at events, only toughed glass or plastic.
The report said Mr Simmons has “no intention of wanting to comply” adding: “The club has failed to show any regards towards local residents who would have to witness the disorder outside their front doors when these unlicensed events occur.”
A spokeswoman fro Brent Council told the Times: “The council can confirm that the Gwalia Club have had their club certificate licence revoked and lost their appeal to get it reinstated.
“The council is committed to ensuring its residents feel happy and safe in their local areas and the conduct of this club was not conducive to that aim.
“Club premises must adhere to their club rules and conditions on their licence.”