Pub apologises for Covid breach but is critical of top councillor's comment

  Posted: 25.06.21 at 08:42 by The Editor

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THE owners of a Stanford-le-Hope pub which has been closed down on England Euro 2020 matchdays because of breaching Covid-19 guidelines have hit back at Thurrock Council - and in particular its leader Cllr Rob Gledhill.

The council announced it had issued a closure notice on the Railway Tavern on Tuesday, just hours before England's match with the Czech Republic.

The decision has drawn a lot of criticism from local residents on social media and a statement from the pub says Cllr Gledill's comments were unfair and unbalanced.

It says: "We do take Covid serious at the tavern and it’s fair to say we all in the hospitality industry are fighting a tough battle with our customers who have had enough of the current restrictions.

"That said we acknowledged we need to do our very best to provide a safe covid free environment for our customers and we will continue to do so to the best of our ability. Our staff who work tirelessly will continue to do so too

"So what went wrong Friday?

"Firstly our doormen failed us. They were overwhelmed by the numbers of people who showed up and they couldn’t cope. Secondly a fence panel was pulled down at the other end of the garden and many people entered through the hole.

"The atmosphere was good but the numbers too great to control a crowd in these Covid conditions. A decision was taken along with the police who attended to allow everybody to continue to watch the football in the interest of public safety. No more alcohol was sold

"The match passed trouble free.

"The next day the management at the tavern met to discuss what went wrong and to plan what should be done for the next match. We consulted with security staff and posted on social media that the next match would be ticket only with reduced capacity. With more doorstaff.

"We contacted the police on Monday and submitted a method statement. We had a list of everybody who would attend with phone numbers.

"We donated their ticket money to St Luke’s as promised. We did what we thought would be enough to open as normal. We received no response, we had no dialogue. Just a notice to close at 4pm on Tuesday from an environmental health officer who couldn’t even wear a mask when he attended our premises. We obeyed and we closed. We will do the same next Tuesday.

"At the Railway Tavern and Ginos we are not ‘greedy nor selfish’. We provide a service people want. We don’t force people to come in.

"We work hard and support the local community. We employ local people. We sponsor local sports clubs, both children’s and adults, and we support local charities and causes.

"We have invested a lot of money into providing a safe outdoor place for the community to drink and socialise during a time when they need it most.
Some things we may get wrong. We apologise."

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