A Fair City watering hole has had plans to axe bouncers turned down by Perth and Kinross Council on the advice of Police Scotland.
Management from The Foundry in Perth and a solicitor representing owners Greene King appeared in front of the local authority’s planning board to make the case for changing the council’s policy.
The Murray Street pub had asked the council to remove clauses in their licence forcing the employment of door staff and preventing live music, karaoke and discos.
Councillors on the licensing board agreed to allow live music, but sided with Police Scotland, which formally objected to the change in conditions.
A police spokesperson who attended the meeting explained revoking the condition would not be in the interest of stopping crime and disorder or protecting public safety.
She said: “This is a busy area surrounded by other licensed premises and a busy taxi rank. We would consider it irresponsible to remove the door staff.
“The problem is not this premises. Door stewards have contributed to the low incident numbers here and are a massive deterrent.
“Removing them would not be good for police resources and would set a precedent for other pubs.”
The solicitor representing Greene King explained the current management had turned the bar around in the last seven years and could be trusted to call in bouncers when needed.
He said: “The Foundry was what you’d call a traditional drinking man’s bar but over the last seven years, it’s no longer the same spit-and-sawdust boozer.
“We’ve moved away from the old fashioned bar with a £200,000 refurbishment three years ago and we’ve put a lot of focus into our food.
“Our demographic has changed and now has a 50/50 gender split, with people aged 18 to 80 and beyond.
“Having seen these positive changes, we believe that our manager should be rewarded with the trust to bring in bouncers when he knows they are needed. Some nights, it’s just not necessary.”
A representative from Perth Congregational Church, located next to the pub, also spoke, arguing removing door staff would worsen an existing litter problem at the pub.
Councillors asked how quickly emergency door cover could be arranged, and the firm’s management explained stewards could be brought in “in a matter of minutes”.
Greene King, which also owns the four flats above the bar, was granted permission for live music, providing the firm agrees to a noise mitigation policy. The firm said it expected only to have live music twice a month.
Conservative councillor Ian James jumped to the pub’s defence describing the enforcement of hiring stewards as “not a necessary burden”.
However, the rest of the board stood with the police and rejected the proposal.
Greene King suggested it may try to reapply to remove the condition in future.