Cinema & Co shutters bolted to the ground by Swansea Council as owner is summoned to court

Owner Anna Redfern has been summoned to court for allegedly defying a previous order to close.

Swansea Council has bolted the shutters of an independent cinema after the owner was summoned to court for allegedly defying a previous order to close.

Cinema & Co in Castle Street in Swansea City Centre was initially ordered to shut by Swansea Council and Welsh Government officials on November 19 for alleged Covid rule breaches.

The venue said it would not enforce the Covid pass scheme and would "take a stand" against new Covid-19 measures which apply to cinemas, theatres, and concert halls across Wales – calling them "discriminatory and unlawful".

The venue was issued with a closure order by Swansea Council and told to shut for 28 days. But the cinema defied the Welsh Government and Swansea Council direction and chose to re-open.

Owner Anna Redfern was then taken to court on November 30 where Judge Thomas rejected her appeal to dismiss her case - and ordered the venue to follow Covid-19 regulations, effectively meaning it had to close its doors, as per the council's original order.

Ms Redfern was also told to pay the council's legal costs of £5,265. The day after the court case, Cinema and Co. apparently re-opened and hosted a Christmas film screening to people who had booked a ticket online.

Now, Swansea Council has issued a new statement and confirmed the owner of Cinema and Co. has been summoned to court, whilst a 'contempt of court' application will also be made alleging the business has failed to comply with its recent court order.

The shutters have also been bolted to the ground to prevent any attempts to reopen.

Swansea Council bolted the shutters to the ground to prevent the cinema reopening

The latest statement from Swansea Council says: "The council still has serious concerns about the public health risks at Cinema & Co because of the business’s failure to demonstrate it has put in place appropriate measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

"A court summons has now been issued to the owner, which relates to a number of offences specific to non-compliance of current health regulations linked to coronavirus.

"An application is also being made to the court for contempt of court because of the failure of the business to comply with the recent court order."During the pandemic the council has worked with hundreds of businesses, supporting them to implement covid-related regulations. These have been developed to help protect the public and keep businesses trading in a safe way.

"At a time when the Omicron variant of the virus is affecting Wales and elsewhere in the UK, it is vital that the public and businesses continue to comply with regulations and do their bit to keep friends, family and loved ones safe. We continue to urge Cinema and Co to play its part."

At her previous court hearing Ms Redfern told the court: "They are trying to close me down unlawfully and each time they have turned up I haven't been there and it's just incorrect. I don't believe the allegations are correct at all."Public Health Act - I have a right to run my business. All I have done is give my customers the freedom of choice whether they want to come to my business or not. The council's unlawful closure is having a ripple effect on the local community."

At the time of the business allegedly re-opening following the court order, Swansea Council said it was disappointed, but that council officers had not yet reached a decision on what further action to take.The cinema then appeared to re-open again last weekend (December 5, 2021) to allow in ticket-holders to watch an advertised film. despite a sign that read 'closed' on its door.