No to strippers at pub says licensee

IPSWICH: A pub landlord today defended his decision to apply for an adult entertainment licence despite objections from the community.

Steve Hart, licensee of The Smock pub in Maidenhall Approach, will find out tomorrow whether his application has been granted by Ipswich Borough Council’s licensing committee.

His proposals have sparked outrage in the community with nearly 100 residents objecting to the move.

But Mr Hart, 51, said: “We would only use the adult licence on very rare occasions – and nine times out of 10 it would be a Saturday night.

“I have asked for an adult entertainment licence so we can have ‘blue’ comedians, and if we’ve got a hen or stag night, sometimes our customers will want a stripogram. We’re trying to turn it into a family pub.”

Mr Hart, who runs the pub with wife Debbie, is also seeking permission to open from 10am, to have under-14s on the premises until 11pm to boost darts and pool, and to open until 2.30am at weekends.

“People have got nothing to worry about because I won’t need to stay open that late,” added Mr Hart. “If I have got something going on later, it’s just for people already there. I don’t want people coming in from the town centre.”

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Bridge councillor Bryony Rudkin said residents would be able to put forward their views at Thursday’s hearing.

n What do you think of The Smock’s plans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail