A crunch meeting to decide the future of a South Shields off-licence accused of selling booze to children has been postponed.
Concillors were supposed to meet on Friday to rule on whether to revoke the licence of the Dairy, in Horsley Hill Square.
According to a report prepared for South Tyneside Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee, the business was caught breaking rules following a sting by Northumbria Police and the council’s Trading Standards department.
However, the planned review has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The Licensing Sub-Committee that was scheduled to take place on Friday, May 26, was postponed by mutual agreement between the council and the owner of The Dairy, due to the business’ legal representation being unable to attend.
“It will be rescheduled for a date in the very near future.”
As well as shutting the store down, the panel would also have had the power to force a temporary closure a a change to the terms of its licence.
According to papers prepared ahead of the meeting, the store has failed two test purchases in the past three years.
An investigation following an underage sale to a 15-year-old in October found conditions attached in 2014 following a previous assessment, including provision of CCTV and staff training, had not been adhered to.
When the panel meets, it will also have the power to force the removal of the premises supervisor.
A report prepared for the panel gives the premises licence holder as Julie Marie Linney and the ‘designated premises supervisor’ as Ellis James Linney, who was also the staff member who failed the most recent test purchase, in October.
Trading standards and police have both said the business is ‘unable to satisfy the licensing objectives relating to the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm’.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service