Publican's anger over karaoke noise fine

Blackburn Citizen: Landlord Gerry Bell Landlord Gerry Bell

A BLACKBURN publican fined for 'noisy' karaoke nights said magistrates had put 'another nail in the coffin of the traditional British boozer'.

And Gerry Bell, landlord of the Moorgate Arms, Livesey Branch Road, has vowed to take his fight to the Crown Court.

Mr Bell and his wife Rita denied three breaches of a noise abate-ment notice made in 2005 after levels which environmental health officers judged were excessive and resulted in sleep depravation and a statutory nuisance.

Regular songs sung on the Friday and Saturday karaoke were You gave me a mountain' by Elvis Presley, Sweet Caroline' by Neil Diamond and songs by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Mr and Mrs Bell were hit with fines and costs totalling £3,600.

Mr Bell said: "We are definitely going to appeal the conviction, not just for the Moorgate but for every street corner pub in the land. There are 30 pubs a week closing and nobody seems to be bothered.

"I am bothered. We run the Moorgate for the community and we work hard to keep it clean, tidy and respectable."

But neighbours were divided over the pub.

Joyce Unsworth of Moorgate Street said: "We can't even have the windows open in the summer because it lets all the noise in. It's that bad."

Michelle McNae, 21, who lives opposite the Moorgate on Livesey Branch Road, said: "I don't really sleep at all because of the noise. It's very bad on weekends with karaoke noise."

However Emma Wolfendale from Moorgate Street said: "The pub's not a problem at all. I go there myself and it's absolutely fine."

Geoff Sutcliffe, treasurer of the Blackburn Licenced Vituallers' Association said: "Pubs are struggling these days so they have to diversify with music and entertainment in order to cope."

Mr Bell said after the abatement notice a sound proofing wall had been built, double glazing installed and new carpeting fitted to reduce the noise levels.

Mr Bell said: "We will be pulling down the sound proof wall, breeze blocking it up and filling it again to make sure that it is right.

"If it's still not right after that, then we may have to give up."

Announcing findings of guilt the magistrates said they accepted the Moorgate was a well-run pub and the defendants had taken steps to reduce the noise level.

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