A nightclub boss is taking unusual action to keep the noise down outside his venue – by giving out lollipops.
Sam Jones has decided to hand out lollies to silence revellers after complaints from neighbours.
Mr Jones hopes his idea will help Lancaster nightclub hustle Hustle get an extended licence to open even later at weekends.
But will it work? The 20-year-old says he’ll have to suck it and see.
“Hopefully the lollipops will take people’s minds off shouting as they leave the club,” he said. “People will be preoccupied rather than talking loudly.”
Mr Jones has been battling for extended opening hours for the Spring Garden Street club .
He wants to apply to open until 5am every Friday night/Saturday morning and 6am every Saturday night/Sunday morning and worries if he doesn’t get permission it will affect his business.
Last Wednesday, Lancaster City Council granted Hustle two temporary extensions to open until 6am on Sunday, July 31 and Friday, August 19.
Nick Wilkinson, a Lancaster landlord, told the council’s licensing act sub-committee his tenants had complained about noise at Hustle, with one even being forced to leave the property.
The committee told Mr Jones he needed to control crowds outside the venue more effectively. Mr Jones said he wasn’t informed about the complaints until a week before the meeting.
“I was very happy with the outcome of the meeting and we will try to go the extra mile with the council’s concerns but there was no communication between the council and myself to say these complaints were an issue,” he said.
“These late licences are vital for my business over the summer when we have no students in Lancaster. It’s the time of year when we really struggle.
“There are a lot of jobs in the Lancaster nightlife. I have 15 staff. And if the nightclubs close, you will lose taxis and takeaways too.”
Asked why Mr Jones was only informed about noise complaints a week before the meeting, a Lancaster Council spokesman said: “In considering applications for Temporary Event Notices (TENs) all licensed premises need to be carefully assessed by Environmental Health to avoid any risks of public nuisance. In light of recent complaints being received by the council from residents, an objection to the TEN was raised by Environmental Health and a hearing was called to enable members of the Licensing Act Sub-Committee to consider the objection before making a decision on the applications.”