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Sacked pair lose first bid for licence

Winning a licence to keep open a country pub has proved almost as problematic for sacked Stoke-on-Trent College director Neil Preston and his deputy Helen Chandler as holding on to their jobs.

Both were dismissed on Christmas Eve after a governors' inquiry into allegations of bullying and running the Dymock Arms in Clwyd while on sick leave.

An application from their manager Ieuan Jones to run the pub they own was rejected by magistrates last week after hearing that he had convictions for drink-driving and possessing cannabis.

Sergeant Colin Jones, licensing officer with Wrexham police, told magistrates: "We are concerned that these convictions would raise doubts as to his suitability to hold a justices' licence."

A further bid succeeded next day when a temporary licence was granted to barmaid Beverly Evans who agreed to move into the premises full-time.

Mrs Chandler had made a bid to run the pub last month when she sought a pub protection order from Wrexham magistrates.

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