Drink licence at Hartlepool cemetery is top issue at Hartlepool Council meeting

Chief Executive Dave Stubbs
Chief Executive Dave Stubbs

COUNCILLORS will meet tonight to discuss a raft of issues including a move to scrap a controversial alcohol licence at a cafe in a cemetery.

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, Hartlepool.

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.

The motion will be discussed tonight at a meeting of the full council.

Meanwhile, councillors are also requested to approve a one off contribution of £21,143 from the latest budget forecast outturn from the child and adult services social care budget to the community pool programme.

The proposal is for the money to go to ‘category four’ to support the following organisations.

l Hartlepool Foodbank - £2,111, this contribution increases the total support to £10,000.

l Age UK Teesside - £9,032.

l Hartlepool Access Group - £10,000.

The main talking point of the meeting though will be the motion aimed at scrapping the alcohol licence at Inspirations Coffee House. The motion, signed by independent councillors and members of Putting Hartlepool First, is set to be discussed first.

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”

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.