Board to reconsider Chairman’s decision

A decision made by the Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board to grant approval to Jacques Scott to move their liquor store to Countryside Shopping Village is to be reconsidered by the Board.

Chairman Mitchell Welds granted Jacques Scott approval to move their licensed premises to Countryside Shopping Village from the Red Bay Plaza during closed deliberations Monday.

Mr. Welds said he had made the decision under Section 13 (1) B of the Liquor Licensing Law and the Board needs to reconsider it when they next meet on 7 June.

The relevant section of the law states that in any case where it is desired to change the location of the licensed premises, the licensee may make application to the Chairman of the relevant Board and the Chairman may grant the application subject to conditions as he may decide to impose, and shall endorse the licence accordingly.

Subsection (2) of the law goes on to state that every grant of a variation made by a Chairman under subsection (1) shall be reconsidered by the Board at its next meeting after the making of such grant, and the decision of the Board and the date of such decision shall be endorsed on the relevant licence.

It is understood the objectors are to seek judicial review on the decision.

Mr. Welds said that as he understands that judicial review is pending (as there is no appeals tribunal for decisions), he would not be willing to comment further on the matter.

Representative of the objectors Pastor Dale Forbes of the Church of God Full Gospel Hall in Savannah said he is very, very disappointed with the decision, which is to be appealed.

The objectors, he said, are against the liquor store being in a main shopping area, which children will frequent with parents. ‘We’re afraid of a perception of the young generation that it’s ok to drink,’ he said.

He said they also believe the store will lead to drink driving and subsequent related fatalities.

However, applicant Peter Dutton said there is demand for a responsible liquor store in the area.

He said he was very pleased with the decision, and not at all surprised.

‘I think our case was very strong, in law,’ he said. ‘What we were seeking was a variation on an existing licence, not a new licence.’

‘I can say that we are responsible citizens. We have been in business for 40 years and I do believe we know what we are doing.’

The store itself, he said, will be subtle, with fine wines, giftware, tableware and glassware. ‘There won’t be people hanging around the parking lot. That’s never been our business, so they (the objectors) shouldn’t be concerned,’ he said.

Meanwhile, he added the bulldozers are getting closer and closer to knocking down the Red Bay Plaza to make way for road widening, which has been a big concern for the company.

Mr. Dutton said there is a very large and strong segment of the community that want the liquor store in Savannah.