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The number of notices and fines issued to Ceredigion licensed premises relating to covid-19 regulation breaches have been highlighted at committee this week.

Ceredigion County Council’s public protection officers continued visiting licensed and business premises throughout the county during the pandemic to ensure coronavirus regulations were being followed.

In a report to licensing committee on Thursday (September 16) it was highlighted that since March 2020 eight compliance notices were issues, along with 39 improvement notices, nine fixed penalty notices, five direction notices, seven closure notices and four prohibition notices.

Two requests were made for premises licence reviews the committee was told, relating to Bar 46 in Aberystwyth and Castle Hotel, Aberaeron, with matters resolved before a hearing was necessary.

Trading standards officer Anne-Louise Davies said it hadn’t been easy during the pandemic and “officers have had some difficulties from some businesses and have received threats, so it has been a difficult period for a lot of people.”

The “vast majority” of business and premises had complied with regulations but there had been some formal enforcement action required, with some businesses issued notices on multiple occasions.

Ms Davies said, in response to a question from Cllr Gareth Davies, that spot checks on Bar 46 would be increased in the run up to freshers’ week and the Castle Hotel had been checked during the busy summer.

The committee was also told that “repeat offenders” had paid fines to the council and there had been discussions about the suitability of Welsh Government covid grants for such premises, but policy meant they had to be paid.

As restrictions eased a group to consider temporary event notices and licences for larger events including weddings, running events and comedy nights, was set up consisting of relevant officers, with the Tour of Britain stages last week the only event requiring further discussion with senior members in ‘gold command’.

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