Thursday , October 28 2021

MP wants laws allowing councils to stop shisha bars opening


A Birmingham MP will call for more control over the bars, following a long-running battle over the Arabian Niites.

Birmingham City Council succeeded in July in the revocation of the Arabian Nites in Bissell Street, Highgate.

MP Shabana Mahmood (Lab Ladywood) is a member of Commons discussions, attended by Government Ministers, where she will call for changes to the law.

She is to argue that local councils need to be allowed to stay in the nightclubs, so that they can ensure the venues never open in unsuitable places, such as heavily residential areas.

But she says the measures would still allow shisha bar customers to enjoy the pastime in a suitable and safe locatiion.

Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood.
Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood.

Ms Mahmood said: "We had a lot of residents complaining about the impact this shisha bar had on their day to day lives.

"They function a bit like clubs, but they are not treated in the same way in planning and licensing legislation.

"What I want is to get to a place where before one of these establishments opens, they are treated like a bit like night clubs.

"They are not really suitable for areas near high or residential areas.

"It would only take a small tweak to the law."

She added: "There are plenty of good establishments that serve food, and people can go and eat and enjoy shisha.

"Good establishments have nothing to worry about.

"Shisha is getting more and more popular and more of these centers are going to come along, and I just think it's important they are regulated in the same way as other entertainment venues."

Birmingham Council took action after a shooting on Saturday, May 26, where a innocent bystander suffered minor injuries from a bullet ricochet.

Arabian Nites shisha lounge.
Arabian Nites shisha lounge.

Disclosing the licence took away the venue's ability to sell alcohol, serve late night refreshment and play music – but selling shisha itself is not covered by a licence.

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