By David Spereall, local democracy reporting service
A Pudsey shop has lost its licence after police raised concerns over alleged sales of cigarettes and alcohol to children.
Syed Jabbar Ahmed, who runs Pudsey Local, strongly denied the allegations at a licensing sub-committee hearing at Leeds Civic Hall last week.
But Leeds City Council has confirmed it has decided to strip the store, which sits opposite Pudsey Bus Station, of its right to sell alcohol.
Parts of a decision notice were posted on Facebook by Pudsey Conservative councillor Simon Seary, who attended last week’s hearing and backed calls for action to be taken against the shop.
The notice read: “Having taken all these matters into account the licensing sub-committee have resolved to revoke the premises licence.
“Ultimately, the committee was of the unanimous opinion that, in all of the circumstances, revocation of the licence was necessary for the promotion of all four licensing objectives and was not disproportionate to the nature and extent of the issues.”
At the hearing on September 27, Sergeant Rachel Smith told a panel of councillors: “It’s only a matter of time before someone comes to serious harm. It’s totally unacceptable and the people of Pudsey need protecting. It needs to stop.”
One local resident, who gave evidence anonymously from behind a screen, said his daughter’s bank statements showed she’d bought alcohol from Pudsey Local. He said she was later “violently sick”.
Mr Ahmed denied the claims, saying they were fuelled by racism and jealousy.
He told the hearing: “We’ve never done anything wrong. People have put false allegations against me. There’s people in the area who’ve been racist against me.”
“All our community and our customers are happy with us. There’s a few odd people who are jealous of us and aren’t happy to see someone earning a livelihood.”
Mr Ahmed will have the right to appeal the decision.
Welcoming the ruling on his Facebook page, Councillor Seary – who also spoke at the hearing – said: “Thank you to the police, Leeds City Council and residents who made statements to the licensing committee.
“There is now a legal process to follow and in due course the license will be revoked from the premises.”
Leeds City Council has been contacted for formal comment.