Protestor’s fury at speaking ban

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CAMPAIGNING Wisbech woman Victoria Gillick has blasted Fenland’s Licensing Panel after she was banned from speaking at a hearing.

The outspoken grandmother wanted to present a 43-page dossier highlighting issues of alleged breaches of licensing conditions in a bid to block an application by Jack Dennis to extend opening hours at his Best Kebab premises in Nene Quay, Wisbech.

However, following a site meeting on Wednesday, during which the panel’s members: Bernard Keane, Michael Humphries and Carol Cox, visited Mrs Gillick’s home in Old Market they decided she did not live in the vicinity of the application premises and therefore was not entitled to address the hearing.

To add to Mrs Gillick’s fury the panel then went on to grant Mr Dennis the extension he wanted.

Mrs Gillick slammed the decision barring her from being able to present the dossier, compiled over a seven month period during which she camped out on a sofa to keep watch on the premises,

She said: “What about local democracy, what about protecting people. What’s this council for if the licensing panel don’t allow people to speak. I am absolutely furious.”

Mrs Gillick was banned from speaking after a barrister at an earlier hearing used a little known Derbyshire case law, to argue that because she lived on the opposite side of the River Nene to Best Kebab she was not in the vicinity.

The hearing in May was adjourned to allow the panel to hold a site meeting to decide for themselves whether or not Mrs Gillick’s home qualified as being in the vicinity.

“They went all over my house, in the bedrooms, everywhere, but decided that we were not in the vicinity because we sleep at the front of the house. But the point is we are regularly disturbed by what is going on at Best Kebab,” added Mrs Gillick,

Mr Dennis was delighted with the panel’s decision to extend his opening times, which means he can now stay open until 3.30am.