Pub owners confused about future of Chippenham Pubwatch

PUB owners in Chippenham say they have been left in the dark over the current status of the town’s Pub Watch scheme, despite the BID confirming it is still running.

The scheme, which is run by licensees and the Chippenham BID, helps pubs tackle alcohol-related crime head on.
However, for the past few months, many licensees, including Tina Elliott-Clarke of the Bear Hotel, say they have received no communication regarding the scheme.

“I didn’t know the meetings were still going on” she said. “We used to get emails months ago but the meetings were being held at 3pm and I had to go pick my son up from school so we weren’t able to go.

“If I knew where these meetings were now I’d go, but there doesn’t seem to be any communication. Pub Watch is useful as we don’t always know what happens on the other side of town.”

The concerns about the scheme were raised after police confirmed that a woman involved with a violent attack in St Mary’s Street last Saturday, in which a 50-year-old man was knocked unconscious, was on the Pub Watch list.

The landlords of the Black Horse, who chucked the woman out of their pub for being abusive, towards the victim, told the Gazette last week they would not have let her in had they known.

Kathryn Crossweller, BID’s interim manager, said: “On a monthly basis our welcoming, safe and clean committee has sought to re-enthuse the local license holders to re-engage with Pub Watch.

“We continue to approach local licensees to help them revive Pub Watch as attendance dwindled once new licenses started being issued without the stipulation that attendance was compulsory.

“Chippenham BID is able to provide administrative support for Pub Watch, and at the last meeting there were six people in attendance, two of whom were Chippenham BID’s representatives.”

Story courtesy of The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald

NPW Editors comment: We would urge licensees to fully engage with their local Pubwatch. It will only be effective and thrive if they take a full part in running the scheme and setting the agenda so it reflects their needs. A NPW regional representative is meeting members of another Wiltshire Pubwatch tomorrow to help them discuss how they can revitalise their scheme.