Bosses of noisy Paisley Wetherspoon pub turn the page as police say standards have improved

The bosses of a troubled Paisley pub have turned things around after coming under strict police surveillance.

The Last Post, in County Square, became the first Wetherspoon Scottish pub in history to undergo a license review hearing in September 2020 after a “considerable” number of incidents involving fighting, drugs and abuse of the staff and delegates.

Police said staff were not dealing with intoxicated patrons quickly enough and the bar’s search policy and management plan needed to be reviewed.

There were also concerns about the level of training staff were receiving to deal with drunkenness.

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Police had to step up patrols at the noisy inner-city establishment last year as bosses promised to implement a three-point action plan to bring it back up to scratch.

Bosses said they would bring in additional butlers during the week, improve their handling of drunk customers and provide more staff training in areas such as Challenge 25, which encourages bartenders to identify any customers who appear to be under 25.

They were cleared of responsibility at a meeting of the Renfrewshire Licensing Board on Friday when members decided to close the matter after a year and a half of scrutiny.

The police said that the operation of the pub had improved and that the vast majority of their visits had been positive.

Inspector David Christie told the board: “We had a number of requests from Wetherspoons. The overall review is completely positive.

“It’s under a lot of scrutiny from our officials. Things are completely positive in terms of changing the environment.”

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“Staff are much more familiar with Challenge 25, there is more management, and 99 percent of the visit reports have been entirely positive.

“The staff assured us that things would change and that would seem to be the case.”

Archie MacIver, of JD Wetherspoon’s representatives, Brunton Miller Solicitors, added: “Whatever side of the fence you sit on, we all agree that we just want facilities to function properly.

“It would appear that things are now where they should be and I would invite the honorable Members to draw a line under this now and allow the facility to go ahead.”

Incidents that were highlighted by police in 2020 included a fight that broke out after a funeral service, a raid on the women’s toilets and a ramming outside the pub after someone asked a couple of other patrons for a cigarette.

They also cited a man who became “loud and aggressive” after appearing to be on controlled drugs, a bag of white powder was found, and drunk patrons became rowdy after being denied service or entry.

Licensing board councilor Andy Steel said: “I hope this is the last time we have the Last Post in front of us and the standards don’t go back to what they were.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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