Pubs ‘plagued’ by people who want quiet life of Covid says Sheffield businessman

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A well-known Sheffield businessman spoke out about the struggles pubs were facing since Covid, saying more neighbours were now objecting to events.

Kane Yeardley, director of True North Brew Co which runs more than a dozen venues across South Yorkshire, highlighted the problems in Sheffield Council’s latest licensing sub-committee meeting.

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Councillors were deciding whether to grant permission for an Oktoberfest event at True North’s Horse and Jockey pub, on Wadsley Lane, Hillsborough.

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Kane Yeardley from True North Brew CoKane Yeardley from True North Brew Co
Kane Yeardley from True North Brew Co

Environmental protection raised concern about noise disruption particularly from an oompah band, saying Oktoberfest was ‘by definition and tradition, a bawdy affair’ that would be ‘ill-advised’.

Mr Yeardley said True North was a responsible company facing more objections since Covid when pubs were banned from opening.

“People say it’s not ordinary food, it’s Marks and Spencers food – when True North tries to do something we are conscious that we do things differently,” he said.

“This oompah band does incredible covers of well known songs, it makes people laugh quite a lot. When we found them we thought they were an amazing asset to bring to the area. We had them in the summer and people were nearly in tears. They weren’t jumping on the tables and drinking – they were just laughing at the cover versions by the oompah band.

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Councillor David Barker in a Sheffield Council licensing sub committee meetingCouncillor David Barker in a Sheffield Council licensing sub committee meeting
Councillor David Barker in a Sheffield Council licensing sub committee meeting

“I know there is this image of Oktoberfest and I appreciate there were a few more people than expected for the [last event] but generally we don’t want to upset people and we try to run things as best we can.

“Pre Covid we would have been fighting to have singers until 11 o’clock but now the world has changed and anybody who lives next to a pub wants life like it was when we were closed.

“Our industry is plagued by people who want the world to go back to how it was during Covid when the pubs weren’t open and that is why there are so many objections these days.

“It’s very difficult for us in the industry to run pubs and create that atmosphere or put events on for the community without upsetting anybody.”

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The Oktoberfest event was granted permission by the committee.

It will go ahead on Saturday, September 17 from 6pm until 9pm.

Councillor David Barker, chair of the committee, said: “It was a difficult decision because the last event you had clearly wasn’t appropriate for the premises, it clearly caused problems with immediate neighbours and colleagues like Neal here were unable to do anything to help you manage that better because they weren’t aware of the type of event that was going to be for whatever reason.

“However, this seems to be a different event. You appear to be taking into account the needs of residents – it will be finished by nine o’clock and of course, you are working on the basis that if this event also causes significant problems it will significantly reduce your chance of being granted any further temporary events at the premises.

“We hope that’s not necessary and it is a successful event… The other thing that has stood you in good stead is that True North is not a company that historically has caused us licensing issues.”