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Last call for late licence

7 June 2018 in Business and Community safety and Environment
An East Ham restaurant, which was closed by the council for failing food hygiene standards, has lost an appeal against a decision to revoke its late night licence.​
Sheesha Kebabish, in Barking Road, East Ham was banned from selling hot food after 11pm by Newham Council’s licensing sub-committee in September 2017.

The licence review followed a catalogue of regulation breaches by the owners dating back to 2010, including poor food hygiene, and on three separate occasions employing people with no right to work in the UK.

The owners appealed the decision but on June 5 2018 Thames magistrates upheld the committee’s decision and awarded the council full costs of £11,954.

East Ham Central Councillor Julianne Marriott, gave evidence to the committee and to the court, and submitted a statement in support of the council’s decision to revoke the licence.

She said she had received many complaints from residents, including from the Rector of St Bartholomew’s Church, about anti-social behaviour, littering and noise, caused by the restaurants late night clientele.

After court she said: “I was alarmed to hear that this business has continuously flouted laws against employing people who have no right to work in the UK. A business which flouts the law in this area is unlikely to be following other rules which are designed to protect residents and staff including providing proper training, employing good practices around food safety and paying the living wage.”

“A worker in this restaurant told officers that he was being paid just two pounds an hour, and that all transactions were cash in hand. This kind of illegal employment goes beyond exploitation, it also breaches tax, and national insurance laws, and has no place in Newham.”

While the licence was under review, a further visit on May 9 2018 found the owners were still employing illegal workers. The owner had also attempted to transfer the licence into the name of a business partner, but this transfer was refused by the licensing sub-committee, and this refusal was upheld by the magistrate.