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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Villagers win pub hours campaign
Beer taps in pub
Residents appealed against the pub's new hours
A village pub has been ordered to cut its "nightclub hours" after an appeal by local residents.

Birkenhead magistrates ordered The Saughall Hotel in Saughall Massie, Wirral, to reduce its newly acquired opening hours on Wednesday.

Villagers claimed the pub was given "nightclub hours" by Wirral Council under new licensing legislation.

It was allowed to open to 0100 BST on Friday and Saturday but this was cut to midnight. Its manager had no comment.

The appeal was brought by the Saughall Massie Conservation Society.

It is a victory for the little man
David Kirwan, solicitor for Saughall Massie Conservation Society

The society was outraged that the pub could open until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and until 0100 on Friday and Saturday.

Its solicitor David Kirwan said: "This case is the first of its kind for Merseyside and it casts doubt on the ability of the council and the police to manage the new licensing laws alone.

"It is a victory for the little man, a victory for the residents of Saughall Massie and, ultimately, the consumer. It is giving power back to the people.

"Saughall Massie is a very small and idyllic country village. Residents were extremely concerned about the noise pollution the extended hours would bring to the area."

Pubs were allowed around-the-clock drinking under new licensing laws last year.

Mr Kirwan added: "The extra hours given to pubs allow them extra flexibility but it is imperative to achieve the correct balance between the rights and the needs of the local residents and the needs of local business to make a profit."

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