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  1. ITV Report

Five Whitby pubs forced to close after 'serious licensing law' breach

Five pubs in North Yorkshire seaside towns have been forced to close after the council found they were operating without a license.

Scarborough Council says there has been a "very serious breach" of the law after the pubs in the Whitby area were found to be unlicensed - for most of 2016.

The hostelries - including three in Robin Hood's Bay - have been operating illegally after the death in December of the landlord Mr Martin Robert Tucker, owned all the pubs.

The council's licensing team was unaware of his passing until this week, and on finding out, had no option but to stop the the sale of alcohol.

We are absolutely staggered that this situation has been allowed to happen, which has left those affected facing uncertainty and potentially serious consequences.

We have great sympathy for Mr Tucker’s family and we know the actions we have had to take this week will have serious consequences for the businesses concerned.

It is imperative however that people understand that we are powerless to act to keep the pubs operating as normal because there is no legal mechanism available for us to do so.

We do not want to be seen as the bad guys, but to not act on the information we have received would be a breach of duty.”

– Jonathan Bramley, Scarborough Borough Council’s Environment and Regulation Manager