Solihull councillors vote against Conservative club losing its licence - despite fight with CS gas and many incidents - The Solihull Observer

Solihull councillors vote against Conservative club losing its licence - despite fight with CS gas and many incidents

Solihull Editorial 20th Dec, 2019 Updated: 20th Dec, 2019   0

A SOCIAL CLUB in Chelmsley Wood has escaped having its club licence revoked, after many complaints of disorder and a fight in October which left people needing medical treatment for CS gas exposure.

Chelmsley Wood Conservative Club, on Bosworth Drive, is under scrutiny by Solihull Council following a string of call-outs from police.

One incident on October 11 saw several people left with stinging eyes and breathing problems after a woman sprayed them with CS gas.

During follow-up investigations on October 16, police visited the premises and found that all toilets tested positive for class A drugs, and discarded cocaine wraps were also found.

West Midlands police licensing officer, PC Luke Prescott, said: “Officers attended the club in the very early hours of October 12 2019, following a report of disorder where a member of staff had been assaulted, together with patrons inside the premises…. it was alleged that a female discharged a CS spray or similar noxious substance over a number of customers.

“The assaults are being investigated by the police… officers stated that on their arrival a lot of the attendees were very anti police and made off from the location.”

In subsequent visits, the police found they could not easily access security footage, and the members’ book at the club has insufficient records of the names of patrons or guests.

Officers say they requested the licence review – by Solihull’s licensing committee of councillors at the Conservative-run authority – as the CS gas spray constituted a ‘section 5 firearm’ discharge.

When they accessed the security footage from October 11, it showed punters opening fire exits to let more people in to the fracas.

Officers also raised concerns about events being advertised online, which are open to the public – in breach of the membership club’s rules.

In a statement, Solihull Council said: “The Licensing Panel carefully considered all representation. They were very concerned that the club has had many complaints of disorder over the years and in particular the very serious incidents of October 2019.

“The panel were pleased that the club has been working closely with the police and at the meeting have considered and agreed new conditions. They have volunteered the conditions relating to prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

“As the club have agreed these conditions and the fact there has been no previous review or warnings, we have on this occasion decided not to suspend or revoke.”

Conditions included an upgrade of camera systems and body cameras for security staff, toilets must be regularly checked with drug detection wipes and staff will be retrained for members induction, preventing underage drinking and safety rules.

Four councillors sit on the licensing panel – two Conservatives and two Greens.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Solihull Observer newspaper.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Solihull Observer.