A BAR and grill can stay open but will have to find a new licence holder after police said they had ‘little faith’ in the current owner.

Sandwell Council has ruled that MS Bar and Grill in Oldbury must find a new venue supervisor after owner Mandeep Sanghera was struck off following “serious” concerns from West Midlands Police.

Police had called on Sandwell Council to investigate “serious” concerns over the “uncontrolled consumption of alcohol” and “the age of some people at the premises” during the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, January 28.

Much of the four-hour hearing on March 19 was held in private with West Midlands Police showing councillors excerpts of body-cam footage captured by officers at the Oldbury venue during the “high-risk” football game in January.

Councillors said they had been shown evidence by West Midlands Police of patrons drinking alcohol at the venue on January 28 where the game kicked off at the Hawthorns at 11.45am – 15 minutes before the venue is licenced to open and begin serving. 

Ms Sanghera told the hearing her brother, who she believed was the holder of a personal alcohol licence but is not named on MS Bar and Grill’s licence, had been left in charge on the morning of the Black Country derby and she was not present. 

West Midlands Police then argued the admission made their concerns “even more serious” as he was “not a layperson” and “should have known better.”

Sandwell Council’s licensing subcommittee waved the right to remove the bar and grill’s licence at the meeting on March 19 and ruled it could stay open under its current licence but would have to remove Mandeep Sanghera as the ‘designated licence supervisor’.

Licensing chair Cllr Peter Giles said the removal of Ms Sanghera as the designed supervisor was a “proportional and appropriate” measure requested by West Midlands Police.

Sandwell Council said the bar owner Mandeep Sanghera had applied for a temporary event licence for the Sunday game without including a payment and had then tried to pay the fee after being told she was out of time.

The council also inspected the venue on February 20 finding two gaming machines – one of which was switched off and “had never been turned on” according to the owner – with Ms Sanghera first telling the council’s licensing officers they had been delivered ‘about a week earlier’ and had never been switched on. 

However, police said body-came footage from officers showed that both gaming machines were on and being used on January 28. 

PC Ben Reeder told the hearing: “I think the point is that … the answer that was given is disingenuous because those machines were on on the 28th of January. 

“It’s a mistruth from the licence holder. The reality is from my body cam footage is that they were on. Again it’s that trust and confidence that we keep coming back to.”

Asked about the machines during the hearing, Ms Sanghera said she was unaware she had to notify the council about the gaming machines, admitting she had not checked, but denied lying to the council’s licensing officers.

West Midlands Police had accused the bar and grill owner of being “disingenuous” with a “pattern of non-compliance” that had provided “not exactly reliable information.” 

West Midlands Police also reprimanded the venue in Churchbridge for ‘failing to contact the emergency services following a stabbing on December 9 last year’.

Documents over the licensing review published by Sandwell Council had shown “serious concerns” from West Midlands Police which said it had requested the review because it believed its concerns undermined three of the key licensing objectives – the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, and the protection of children from harm.

The application by West Midlands Police for the review said: “The police have serious concerns the premises is failing to promote the licensing objectives. 

“On Sunday 28th January 2024, a high-risk football match took place, the venue allowed uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, there is also a concern regarding the age of some people at the premises and on 9th December 2023 there was a section 18 wounding. The venue failed to call the police and/or the ambulance service.”

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “We were called to Churchbridge, Oldbury, shortly before 1am on 9 December after a man was stabbed. He was taken to hospital with arm wounds, though these were not life-threatening. Enquiries are ongoing.”