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Concerns over some aspects of the operation of the Angus Hotel, have resulted in the suspension of the liquor stores off-licence.
In late October the Liquor Licensing Authority in Hastings heard evidence from Police and Hastings District Council’s liquor licensing officer over their opposition to five applications for the renewal of both on and off-licences for the Angus Hotel and a manager’s certificate.
The Authority regarded some of the complaints about breaches of the Sale of Liquor Act by the licence holder, Angus Properties (HB) Limited, as relatively minor, but was concerned that the bottle store had failed three controlled purchase operations during the past three years, the most recent being in February 2012.
The bottle store’s off-licence has been suspended for 21 days commencing 7th January 2013. The application for the renewal of the manager’s certificate was withdrawn by the applicant. The Authority renewed the off-licence for 19 months and 17 days while the on-licence has been renewed for three years.
Evidence was also presented during the hearing that the bottle store had sold two lines of popular RTDs (ready to drink alcohol and flavouring) at a price which was below cost. The Authority said the licensee had engaged in a practice that was likely to result in liquor abuse occurring. It said that RTDs are well known as having a particular appeal to young persons, especially young women. The sale price was so low as to make the product readily available, even to persons of limited means. This evidence was treated in the nature of a test case and did not affect the penalty imposed.
Philip Evans, Community Safety Manager for Hastings District Council, said that the Angus Hotel’s management had breached the object of the Sale of Liquor Act, which was to reduce the amount of liquor abuse in our society. He said that Police had become aware of the very low prices of RTDs at this bottle store after questioning intoxicated people in Hastings CBD.