The manager of a popular Eastleigh Pub has alleged that a local councillor threatened to revoke his licence after he was jostled while being served.
As a result of the incident Mr Simon Bancroft of the Litten Tree in the High Street complained to the council regarding the alleged behaviour of Dave Broughton the Liberal Democrat councillor for Eastleigh South and the matter was referred to the Standards subcommittee last week.
The committee heard how Cllr Borughton a partner in Ace Limos – who provide chauffeur driven limousine hire for Hampshire (all major credit cards ‘excepted’) – had been working the door of the Railway Club where he is a committee member on the night of May 1st.
Afterwards at about 12.30 pm having consumed ‘no more than 5 pints’ he decided to go the Litten Tree in a party of 8 people. While being served at the bar he was jostled about four times which led him to question the doorman regarding the capacity of the venue which he felt was overcrowded. However, when he asked to see the admission figures this was refused even after Mr Bancroft was called.
It was at this point it Mr Bancroft alleged that Cllr Broughton identified himself and suggested that he could have Mr Bancroft’s licence ‘revoked’.
Mr Broughton finally left after a passing police officer intervened.
Mr Broughton reported to the committee that he had only been concerned about the health and safety implications of an overcrowded venue and denied suggesting the Litten Tree licence could be revoked or that his behaviour had been bullying or intimidating in anyway.
The police officer who had spoken to Cllr Broughton, SPC Dan Brennan, said that Mr Broughton had not been aggressive, but repetitive in his demands to see the admission figures and added that as the councillor left he had told him – within earshot of the pub staff – that Eastleigh Borough Council were trying to close the Litten Tree down.
Jon Brown, the council’s assistant head of legal and democratic services, told the committee that the pub had not been overcrowded that night and that while the matter was “a case of one word or account over the other”, he considered that Cllr Broughton had breached the council member’s code of conduct:
“In terms of failing to treat other with respect; bullying; bringing the office of councillor and the council itself into disrepute and attempting to use the position of an elected member improperly”.
Following due consideration the committee ruled Cllr Broughton had failed to treat others with respect and had brought his role and the council itself into disrepute – but it also decided that he had not been bullying or had used his position improperly.
Didn’t the Litten Tree used to sponsor the Liberal Democrat Focus magazine by placing ads in it?
To read the full report to the standards subcommittee click here
‘Eastleigh Council guilty of maladministration’ read Simon Carr’s report in the Daily Echo here