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Smethwick takeaway wins licence fight

By George Makin | Smethwick | News | Published:

A Smethwick takeaway has won its fight to deliver alcohol to customers’ homes after councillors rejected a police objection to changing its off-sales licence.

Sandwell Council

The Taste Harmony restaurant, on Waterloo Road, has been told it can now use third party companies such as Deliveroo and Uber after claiming an existing condition made the business ‘unviable’.

Kevin Rutty asked Sandwell Council’s licensing committee to lift a restriction which required doorstep deliveries to only be carried out by the company’s own staff who each had to hold a personal licence to sell alcohol.

He said the majority of sales would be through on-line websites such as Just Eat and claimed the condition would increase costs by forcing him to directly employ drivers.

Duncan Craig, acting on behalf of the company, said other food outlets in the borough didn’t have to comply with the same requirements adding it had prevented the takeaway from operating since it was set up in May.

Saying it was offering to impose stricter rules on alcohol sales by insisting on proof of age must be provided at the doorstep, he added: “It can’t be fair, right, proportional or justifiable that this licence holder who is saying that I am prepared to offer a requirement that anyone with deal with has to a verified age policy – and I can’t find anyone else who is prepared to do that – and then have the police say that is not proportionate.

“The only thing he is trying to do is make his businesses viable.”

In agreeing to changing the licence, councillors said Taste Harmony must ensure there would be no cash sales of alcohol outside its premisses and deliveries would only be made to addresses of registered customers, otherwise drinks must be returned to the restaurant.

In addition, no deliveries can be made to open spaces and registered customers would be required to confirm they were above the age of 18 when placing orders on-line, while all details of the address, time and names of the driver and the customer are recorded.

George Makin

By George Makin

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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