Bid to reverse drink decision

Inspirations Coffe House and Garden Centre.
Inspirations Coffe House and Garden Centre.

COUNCILLORS angry about a controversial alcohol licence at a cafe within a cemetery have put forward a motion calling for Hartlepool Borough Council to give it up.

Six councillors want to see the local authority revoke the licence extending the hours in which alcohol can be served until 9pm at Inspirations Coffee House, in Stranton Cemetery.

The controversial issue will be discussed at a full council meeting this week where those members against it will be hoping to gather support from other councillors.

Councillor Keith Dawkins, leader of Putting Hartlepool First, had previously stormed out of the licensing sub-committee meeting and refused to vote on the application because he was so angry at the plans.

Speaking after the last meeting, Coun Dawkins had called for an extraordinary council meeting to discuss the issue. That request was refused as the council said it would be “inappropriate” given it could be discussed at a scheduled full council meeting on Thursday.

The motion, signed by independent councillors and members of Putting Hartlepool First, is on the agenda for next Thursday’s meeting.

It reads: “That this council voluntarily gives up its alcohol licence at the inspirations cafe and thereby return Stranton Cemetery to being a place of rest”

Coun Dawkins had previously said: “I’ve said right from the very start, this is something I feel very strongly about, the cemetery should be a place of peace, not a place of entertainment and I know lots of others who feel the same.”

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman told the Mail they felt it would be inappropriate to call an extraordinary meeting to discuss this issue “when the matter could be raised at a scheduled full council meeting on Thursday, May 8”.

The cafe within the cemetery previously had a licence to sell alcohol until 6.30pm seven days a week.

Council officials insist the licence would be used for events such as gardening talks and wine-tasting events, particularly during the busy summer months.

Inspirations Coffee House is based within Stranton Cemetery, off Tanfield Road, in Hartlepool.

The full council meets at 7pm at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.