HOT on the heels of the borough’s first lap-dancing club, a town centre newsagent’s has been granted an extension to sell alcohol all night.
Newsflow express, on Poplar Road, can now sell alcohol at any time of the day, or night, apart from between 1.30am and 3.30am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
It becomes the first newsagents of its kind in the town centre, competing with 12 bars in the area.
Councillor Peter Hogarth, who is vice-chairman of Solihull Council’s licensing committee has called for a change in the law to prevent newsagents being allowed to sell alcohol into the early hours of the morning. He said: “It’s not the best way forward with the knowledge of people coming out of clubs worse for wear.
“In my view there are enough outlets available which provide this service, so overall I’m not happy about it.
“Personally I feel that legislation needs to be changed in regard to this type of outlet.
“I’m pleased with the restriction that the police have placed, but if it was down to me I wouldn’t have wanted it to be so late – midnight at the latest.”
In recent weeks members of Solihull Council have called for changes to licensing laws after an application for a lap dancing venue Honey Club, was approved without what they considered sufficient consultation.
Newsflow owner Avtar Singh said he was delighted to get the go-ahead at his newsagents, and insisted he will work with the police in order to avoid any trouble.
“It’s brilliant that we’ve got this licence, but it’s taken a lot of hard work,” he said.
“We’re a family-run business, so it’s good for us, but it will also benefit others.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the police, and we will be working together to make this a success.”
The shop will close no later than 8pm every day, meaning customers can only purchase after-hour goods through a hatch.
No more than eight cans, or bottles, can be sold at any one time, and identity checks will be strict. Solihull Chief Supt, Carl Foulkes said: “We’ve set the guidelines, and we will now work closely with Newsflow, and see how it operates.
“Other agencies will be involved, and if there are any breaches we will go from there.”