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Owner of closed down Canning Town nightclub hits back - and vows to re-open

17:13 11 April 2014

Guvnor bar, Canning Town

Guvnor bar, Canning Town

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The owner of a Canning Town night club has hit back after his licence was revoked.

Guvnor owner Stephen Kakooza has vowed to appeal Newham Council’s decision, saying the authorities refused to work collaboratively to minimise issues and warning that troublemakers will just move on to another venue.

Members of Newham Council’s licensing sub-committee say a stabbing at the North Woolwich Road club in February prompted them to decide that the venue should be closed on the grounds of public safety and to prevent crime and disorder.

The Metropolitan Police has received 17 reports of assault at the venue since April 2011 as well as a a masked robbery.

Mr Kakooza, who employed 25 people at the venue, says he offered to rename the club, change the music to appeal to different customers and introduce an entry scanning system to try and alleviate the sub-committee’s concerns.

“There is always going to be pushing and shoving outside clubs because that is the way the younger generation behave but the council are just willy nilly putting people out of business,” he said. “We always go over and above the safety requirements and I am willing to spend my last penny because I have invested half a million pounds in the business.”

A spokesperson for Newham Council said the sub-committee’s decision was backed by the Metropolitan Police and officers believed immediate suspension was needed to prevent further violent incidents.

“An action plan has been in place since 2012 to help get the premises running correctly and within the conditions of its licence,” he added. “The sub-committee took into account the seriousness of the incident on 23 February and the number of crimes associated with the premises over the past 12 months.”

Pier One Nightspot and Grill, also in Canning Town, had its licence revoked last month.

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