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News - 17 April 2007

Another shaming - will seafront bar change its name again?

The Varsity pub and night club has already changed its identity following the exposure of health hazards associated with its food service last year. Will it change again after receiving a fine for flytipping?

At Brighton & Hove magistrates’ court on April 10, Amit Patni, manager of The Varsity Bar, East Street, pleaded guilty to waste disposal offences. He was fined £500 and ordered to pay council costs of £750.

Mr Patni and his staff left 30 bin bags of trade waste in nearby Brills Lane over a period of three days. This was scattered around by seagulls, causing a litter and hygiene problem.

The Varsity Bar, formerly The Prodigal, is owned by the Barracuda Pubs Group. Under its ownership, the premises have generated fines on two previous occasions. In May 2001 it was successfully prosecuted for a similar incident of flytipping. Last year it was fined £8000 for food hygiene offences.

Brighton & Hove City Council is sending out a strong message to traders that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. In a recent incident David Hossacks, a director of Environ Construction, Brighton was fined after a member of the public reported the illegal dumping in Queens Road.

Enforcement officer with the council’s Cityclean arm, Michael Logue, said, “This is very antisocial behaviour by the club.

“A large amount of litter blowing through city streets is caused by traders either dumping waste in the wrong place, or at the wrong time, so it is exposed to scavenging birds and animals.

“It’s quite extraordinary that there are still some businesses who think that dumping their trade waste in the street is acceptable. Trade waste should only ever be placed on pavements when collections are imminent.

“Dumping trade waste is a criminal offence, and businesses who fail to have a licensed waste contractor are breaking the law.”

The council does not collect trade waste but provides information on its web site about trade waste including a list of trade waste recycling tips see


 The dumping of trade waste, especially food waste, in back streets in Brighton by a business that lives and dies by the attractiveness of the city centre to its customers beggars belief. And, of course, their actions affect every business that operates in the vicinity.

It is difficult to envisage any extenuating circumstances for this behaviour and the local authority were right to prosecute. There are numerous trade waste contractors operating in the city (indeed some would say too many) and there is no excuse for such selfish flouting of the law and common decency.

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