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LISTEN: Guildford Council Leader stands by decision to back pub under threat

3 minute read
LISTEN: Guildford Council Leader stands by decision to back pub under threat

Published at 8:55am 18th October 2018. (Updated at 5:26pm 18th October 2018)

The Leader of Guildford Borough Council says he is not backing down from a decision to support a live music venue under threat of closure.

Paul Spooner has told Eagle he is being investigated by the Council - in the wake of accusations of bias towards the centuries-old Star Inn.

Following complaints, after neighbouring offices were turned into flats, the pub has been served a noise abatement notice.

The pub's management says this threatens to 'kill off' the business as it effectively ceases to be a music venue.

Speaking live on the Breakfast Show this morning, Mr Spooner said despite the investigation into the potential 'bias' he is not backing down: "I'm afraid I'm not going to change my mind at all here.

"The situation in relation to conversion to apartments is something that I struggle to accept."

He said both parties are meeting with the Council soon - and he is hoping a resolution is found: "I truly hope we, as a council, are able to facilitate some form of agreement here, and the good news is at least they are now talking.

"I understand both sides here are meeting with Council officers over the next two weeks."

Mr Spooner said all three main political parties on the Council are supporting the Star Inn, claiming it was not electioneering, ahead of elections next May, but for the good of the town: "The important thing is the cultural diversity in Guildford.

"We are very proud of what we have in Guildford and we need to protect what we have whilst of course bearing in mind that there are people living in our town."

Since the news of the Star Inn being served the abatement notice a petition calling on the pub to continue as a music venue has received more than 21,000 signatures.

A spokesperson from Guildford Borough Council said: "We can confirm that we have received a complaint in accordance with the Council’s code of conduct. It is being progressed as required by the Council’s constitution and we cannot comment on any further details.” 

Listen here for the full interview on the Peter Gordon Breakfast Show this morning: