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Ex-mayor's removal as DPS overturned on appeal Published Date: 01/11/2021

A court as overturned a decision of Fenland Council's sub-committee to remove former Wisbech mayor Aigars Balsevics as DPS of the Angel public house in Wisbech for Covid-19 breaches.

Cllr Balsevics has previously paid a £1,000 fixed notice penalty for breaching Covid-19 regulations on Christmas Eve, 2020.

It has been reported that the Magistrate said: “It is in our view disproportionate to remove him from any managerial/supervisory nexus from the Angel."

Cambridgeshire magistrates noted that the “failings of the 24th of December” - when multiple breaches of Covid regulations occurred – were limited to just the one night.  

“We have heard in evidence, which we accept, that Mr Balsevics has invested in a 10-year tenancy from Elgoods in respect of the Angel, a public house that has many supporters in the local community,” magistrates ruled.  

“To require him to be tenant with his hands tied behind his back so to speak is impractical and unrealistic.”

Magistrates said that “much was made in evidence of the fact that the DPS is DPS at two other local public houses, that have traded without incident.  

“In our view, this point cuts both ways – it demonstrates that the DPS does have the necessary knowledge to run a public house appropriately, but it throws his failure to do so on the 24th into sharper contrast.  

“We note that the DPS in evidence before this court acknowledged that events on the 24th were not as they should have been, but were disappointed by his attitude that he could not do more with just himself and the staff he had on duty.  

“In our view, a DPS of his experience should have anticipated that on the eve of a national lockdown, a Christmas Eve at that when many of his patrons are from Eastern European communities for whom that date is of particular significance, patrons would want to frequent the Angel for a last ‘hurrah’”.  


Source: Cambs Times