Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Ship Council Meeting

One lovely listener has brought to my the attention the Council meeting to discuss The Ship Pub's licensing application. Read on and try to come along.....

Despite the Council stating it sends invitations to and papers for the licensing sub committee a week before, nothing has arrived in the post.
HOWEVER, the meeting is going ahead. Here are details for the meeting which is TOMORROW evening, Thursday 8 Oct 2009, 6.30pm
Licensing Sub-Committee C
Thursday, 8th October, 2009 6.30 pm

Venue: Rooms 4 & 5, Town Hall, Wellington Street , Woolwich SE18 6PW .
The Ship is item number 5 on the agenda and you can view all the papers relating to that, including numerous objections by local residents by visiting this link:
PLEASE do try to attend the meeting. Even though there are many objection letters to The Ship’s proposed license variation, it is important that the Council and the Licensing Committee see that the local community are as united now as we were a few years ago, in our opposition to a venue on our Common and in our neighbourhood such as The Ship proposes to be.


Anonymous said...

I rang the licensing department today and was told that they had had a petition of some 50 names in favour of the application so I would urge people, if they object to the application, not to be complacent about it.

Anonymous said...

I think the committee this evening should be most interest and hopefully common sense should prevail.

The Ship is now an asset to the Common compared to the period it was empty, not yet in the same league yet as those establishments on the peripheral areas of other London Open Spaces and parks/commons.

However those other green areas about London are wealthier, by relative comparison, with Tied Public Houses in situ with their investment coming from Plc/Multi-Nationals, who would'nt normally touch the Plumstead area due to perceived demographic spend analysis rationale. No doubt those with cash to spend from the Plumstead/Shooters Hill are prefer to let it be known that they spend in Bluewater, Greenwich, Bromley, but certainly not Plumstead or Woolwich!

So as Plumstead Commoners we should consider ourselves lucky that private individuals are trying to grow additional vitality to the Common. Better this, than a decaying commercial building, as one meets the common!

Plumsteadshire perhaps could be used to take soundings as to what additional steps/offering the Ship could make such that it would promote the building to those visiting the area or more importantly those of us that live in the area.!!!!

Doctor Pangloss said...

Excellent posting. No, The Ship isn't the kind of place I'd go to, but it won't take seismic shifts for The Ship to attract a different clientele.

Pubs and restaurants have different offers for different times of the day to cater for different clentiele. Similarly, The Ship could easily change its' whole outlook by switching off those TVs, dimming light levels and providing quality beers, wine and a basic food menu. This could happen for half of the week. That way, the Ship's owner can keep alot more people happy. It's a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a shift, Boots and Tesco would not have opened in an area that wasn't seen to be profitable. The Co-op wouldn't have been redone had they not felt it would also attract new business and sustain itself. The Common is lovely and I think there are people with disposable income around this area. Many of the people we know work in the Public Sector so haven't been affected by the recession as much as other friends we have who have sadly been made redundant and live in "nicer" areas. Also we chose to live in Plumstead for the size of property we could buy. We had looked in far nicer areas (And some actually equally as drab) but could only get a 2 bedroom flat as opposed to a 4 bedroom house for what we wanted to spend. Not stretching ourselves on our mortgage also means we have income to spare each month. And yes at the moment this does get spent in Greenwich and Blackheath (and the shops of Bluewater but I don't go there for food and drink)! Until there are more options in Plumstead that's the way it will be. It doesn't need to be a wine bar but the two pubs i like in Blackheath are the Railway and the Princess of Wales. The Ship wouldn't take much to turn it into one of these. Both pubs in Blackheath attract the middle class crowd as well as the "chav" crowd, both have a mixed clientele in terms of colour, age and sex and both serve food (not posh food, but snack food), sunday lunches, have a wine list, play music, have sofas and papers etc and are always busy. I don't see why it would be so hard for the Ship (or the Woodman) to have turned into one of these and it would have worked.
I have been into the Ship as well before you knock my ideas and it isn't the place for me. I tried all the local pubs when we moved here and the friendliest is the Old Mill, but it does need a bloody good clean and a spruce up but it is for me an old mans boozer where if I want a pint I will go. I tried the Woodman and loved what they had done with it, but boy was it rough and the Star is also just a boozer. The Ship was blue and was like a working man's club. All pool tables, SKY TV, noise, bright lights, sterile with a bunch of men with no hair arguing at the bar...It is definitely the roughest pub around.
Now sadly I have dinner plans tonight (in Greenwich) with friends and won't make the Council meeting (although I wouldn't have anyway as I don't finish work till 6pm/6.30pm).

Anonymous said...

Fear not people. The Ship will not prevail tonight. There supposed 'petition' of 50 names is clearly a list of punters and friends, most of whom come from addresses well-beyond the Council's considered catchment, and most not even in SE18.
Mr Ship has ignored local demands from day one. There is no reason he will start listening now. Although I REALLY hope he would. I would certainly patronise a decent cafe/restaurant/gastro pub at that location. It has instead become a drinking den for the local chavs and underage drinkers who are attracted to the numerous cheap drink offers. Mr Ship has no idea what the tiniest bit of cosiness or class might bring his pocket. He is stuck on the idea of running some kind of trendy night club, indeed, if you look on the documentation (appendix B page 6) for tonight's meeting, you will see that name and registered address of the holder of the premises license is no other than "Bus d rhymes Ltd". SO you see he is still busta and he is still intent on his orignial vision. THIS MUST BE STOPPED and WILL BE!!!
Any Wernbrook residents and others who have been seduced by, or find themselves piting the poor struggling lad running The Ship... don't be duped by Mr Ship Patel. He is a liar and does not belong in Plumstead Common. He cares nothing AT ALL for our local community. He would be better of he actually did do some local market research and listen to the outcry of local (esp the one's with spare cash to spend). but his is too ignorant to do so and too dishonest to come clean about his true intentions. No doubt after this application fails tonight, and it WILL fail, he will ready himself to put the same applicaiton in in another 2-3 years. And our strong local community will still be here, ready to oppose him AGAIN and AGAIN.

Doctor Pangloss said...

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bored of total cretins coming on here with one thing in mind - just to insult people.

To save everyone from the filth from this waster I'll just have to play God and delete the detritus spewing from your sad little mind.

Anonymous said...

As I said , I hope common sense prevails, as opposed to nimby objections.

Anonymous said...

Common sense has prevailed. The application was refused.

Anonymous said...

Surely, the whole application was not rejected? Unfortunately I was unable to attend this evening due to personal circumstances, but would truly wanted to be present.
I sincerely, hope that the decision does not affect the viability of the establishment.
I was anticipating some aspects of the application being approved and others not, but at least being able to sit outside on the forecourt being one of the approved factors!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Doctor Pangloss for you Blog and specifically creating an arena for todays comments. I would like to advise the proprietors of the Ship of this blog and perhaps Dr Pangloss will leave it open in order that + suggestions can be made to ensure the Ship remains an active business on the common, as we are about to see and have seen some close.............memories of the early 90's are coming back when there was no Spice Island or Budget Carpets and the Residentials units overhead only housed Pigeons as do many properties in Hare Street, as do many of the larger ones on the Western End of Powis Street mainly due to it being uneconomic and costly in time terms to invested in Buildings which happen to be they will continue to Rot and be a blight.
Thanks again Dr Pangloss

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid common sense did not prevail. An outright rejection of the whole application demonstrates this was the case. Simple case of councillers in bed with each other. The councillers who form part of the committee almost certainly would not be able to justify rejection without legal support. They would struggle in an open discussion to justify and explain their decision and I would also question the councillers/committees ability to arrive to and present an unbiased conclusion. Why is it that the Old Mill, Prince Albert, The Woodman and The Who'da Thought It has had outside drinking with direct access from the public highway for many years? Why should The Ship remain the exception? Why does Plumstead Common need to be served by EIGHT yes I repeat EIGHT off licences ? Simple counter arguments which can prove the hypocrisy which exists in the current system. The same committee members have allowed applications where the points in support of today's rejection would have applied. At the very least a compromise should have been reached for outside drinking. There were many people in favour of the application at the meeting and those who opposed only represent a minority and note were represented by half dozen councillers. My reasonable judgement is that the majority of local residents are not bothered and the reality is that the number in favour of the application is greater than the number not in favour. The petition goes some way to support this view. Oh well never mind. Narrow minded local residents and councillers more concerned about another term in council (instead of fulfilling their actual obligations/duties) are exactly the reasons why Plumstead Common will NEVER flourish in the same way or compete with the likes of Blackheath, Wandsworth, Clapham .... not even come close. People need to understand that you need efficient well managed local businesses, of which The Ship is one, to allow Plumstead Common to put it's stamp on London. These types of businesses need to succeed and sustain a level of success over an extended period of time. My genuine fear is that narrow minded residents and councillers have shot themselves in the foot and don't know it.

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

Common sense, rationality and fairness have prevailed.

Here is why:

The applicant decided to change a significant part of his application verbally in the middle of the hearing. This was with regard to the entrance to the building and also the barrier around the forecourt. This changed the basis of application and signalled that the applicant had not clearly thought through his plans and how the space would actually be managaged. That is the key point of the rejection.

In addition, with regard to the two issues above, it was pointed out to the applicant that he had not even sought planning permission for proposed changes to the building, and that this was not in keeping with recommended procedures; as a license cannot be granted to premises which require physical alteration in order for them to operate in accordance with the terms of that license.

The other points which caused The Ship's failure last night were:
- that Mr Patel's legal counsel tried to argue that the immediate area around The Ship was NOT mostly residential (!),
- Mr Patel/his counsel did not have a demonstrable understanding of the Coucil's expectations of "strong management" (meaning highly trained staff, keeping training logs to be able to prove all staff could enforce prevention of underage drinking, etc),
- Mr Patel's counsel flip-flopped on the important issue of admitting under 18s: when asked about the reason for allowing under 18s in, the answer was that 'lots' of locals can't afford Sky and 'all' of those people want to come with their kids to watch sports; but then when asked about the risk associated with under 18s attending the venue, that at any one time there wouldn't be many under 18s - may be only 2-3 - at any one time,
- there was lack of clarity on how many nights per month the venue would have dancing and be open late. The application indicated 1 night per month for dancing, but Patel's counsel described late night dancing perhaps 2 times a month (an immediate contravention of the terms applied for),
- and, finally, an verbal claim (attempt at reassurance) that the late license would not effect any significant change in current operations, but merely save Mr Patel from having to make regular temporary late license applications.

The applicant did not seek to negotiate on the two major points of concern expressed by local residents and by several local councillors, which were:
- the regular late opening hours which might cause noise disturbance in a densely residential area (the response was an attempt to argue that it was not very residential),
- the admission of under 18s to an establishment dedicated primarly to drinking (the response was there would 'probably' only be a few under 18s there).

...continued below...

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

...continued from above...

A final point was that Mr Patel's counsel tried to argue that local residents' objections were based on 'fear'. The many objections, which were rationally made (by numerous residents, nearly ALL the local councillors representing those residents and the Met Police licensing officer), and indicated that fear was not a factor. Objections were based on experience and knowledge of the local area. This fear claim indicated a dismissive and disrespectful attitude toward local residents, which is very disappointing to say the least.

A note to Mr Patel:
Those of us who attended last night to object to this license do not wish you any bad will in terms of your business venture here in Plumstead Common. Indeed, our hope was and has always been that The Ship would finally offer the area something that it needs. And that is a properly family-oriented establishment that is inviting to the many many local residents and families that surround your establishment. Perhaps you might be able to understand that Plumstead Common is a special place, and part of outer London with a remarably stong sense of community and a love of its open spaces and local environment. It is these things we want to protect. The other pubs in the area do not seek to threaten or disregard this, and in terms of The Star and The Old Mill, they are in fact part of the fabric of what this community is. We would absolutely welcome your greater engagement with us locals, and we would love for you to take on board what we really want, so that we can patronise your establishment and help you build not only a successful business but a place where we can meet neighbours and friends over a quiet drink and perhaps even a decent meal.

Best wishes to all.

And thanks to Pangloss for giving us this forum.

RightOnTheCommon said...

Well written. A shame we cannot commend the writer.

I myself could not attend but feel you have outlined the meeting. Thanks.

south london solicitors said...

Its odd because nothing is really made of the history of Arsenal in Plumstead and I have never understood why. Use they where formed in Woolwich but most of those early years where spent in Plumstead.

I think something could be done to promote this and the Ship could renamed and one of those blue plaques put up on the common.

The Ship is in a prime spot and I guess it needs to make money - when I was growing up it used to double as a strip club on Sunday lunch time so I guess we should be thankful it hasn't gone back to that!

Anonymous said...

Isnt on Hot Days like these that we about Plumstead Common would be delighted to be able to visit the Ship and take a Pint siting on its forecourt overlooking the common.........smokers too could also sit without having to stand on the forecourt ostracised by their habit. Woodman Closed, Prince Albert Closed.......nowhere on the common to have a drink externally...No wonder people dart off to Blackheath Peckham Rype, Clapham, Dulwich and Wimbledon for a summer drink.
The Ship's Management is excellent to control any unruliness.............Please Please Councillors and Local Residents, support and encourage the Ship to place Tables, Canopies and Flower Boxes and the like, to enhance the Common and its now non-derelict asset. The Music and TV's are within the Building.