Victory

Independently review the police's evidence against the Northern Lights and revoke the proposed restrictions against its future licence.

This petition made change with 7,505 supporters!


*...Save our Northern Lights...*


Northern Lights is an independent Scandinavian bar & restaurant set within a 300 year-old fisherman's cottage in the heart of Brighton. For the past 7 years it has served as the integral hub for the Scandinavian community of Brighton, helping to promote cultural diversity within the city by hosting everything from traditional celebrations found in the Nordic calendar, to providing a menu full of traditional Scandinavian food and drinks. But now it finds itself under threat...

Brighton as with any other city has its problem streets, with trouble prominently found on those streets which house notorious big company chain-bars. Little East Street, home of Northern Lights, is not one of them, yet a look through the council's public register will tell you that at this time Northern Lights is the only venue in the entire city which finds its license under scrutiny.Northern Lights is accused of undermining some of the four key licensing objectives as stated in the governments 2003 licensing act, which are as follows:

1. the prevention of crime and disorder
2. public safety
3. prevention of public nuisance
4. the protection of children from harm

Northern Lights have had to make two police call-outs in seven years of operating. Neither of these are recent, and from speaking to the staff, the general mood now appears to be one of anxiety as they bid to save one of the most unique independent premises our city has to offer.

The main charge being levelled against Northern Lights is that of 'vertical drinking' and of not being 'food led,' apparently leading to the negation of the key licensing objectives. They face having their opening hours scaled back (which would surely only divert more people into the more problematic areas of the city, they won't just decide to stop going out), the use of their outdoor seating area being restricted (apparently related to one noise complaint in all of those years, ***we've heard this before...*** (Think Blind Tiger) or at worst, closure.

This coincides with the decision to trial the pedestrianisation of East Street on weekends, despite the fact that a long battle with the council last year looked to have halted any such plans. This would mean routing all of the South Lanes traffic down into Northern Lights quiet corner of the world. This combined with a negative outcome for Northern Lights in the upcoming hearing on Tuesday March 3rd, would place an incredible squeeze on the business, result in the loss of jobs. It could easily suffocate them into being inoperable.

There is no big company backing them up and there are no expensive legal teams that can be called in to fight their cause (a perk enjoyed by aforementioned chain-bars), but we who support them can still make a difference.

We urge the council to protect Northern Lights, and to honour their own “Statement of Licensing Policy” in which they encourage diversity amongst premises in order to cater for as many different members of the community as they can. Promoting these policies they say “gives potential for positively changing the ambience of the city or an area of it.” Right now however, the risk is being run of not only alienating the Scandinavian community of our city, but negatively affecting that ambience.

There is no saying that this petition will have a defining impact upon the hearing, but we can at least show our support for Northern Lights, for the cultural diversity which Brighton is famed for, and for the plight of independent businesses everywhere.

*We have just four days to do so.*



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Liam Hardy needs your help with “Brighton & Hove City Council: Independently review the police's evidence against the Northern Lights and revoke the proposed restrictions against its future licence.”. Join Liam and 7,504 supporters today.