Fire safety problems found at Punch Taverns pub

Environment health officers from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have uncovered a number of health and safety issues and fire safety problems at a pub in Leek.

The Swan Pub is owned by Punch Taverns but was run until recently by licensee Barry Birch, who was evicted last week due to a rent dispute. Mr Birch, 58, claims that he stopped paying his rent partly because of the company’s failure to act on his health and safety concerns. Speaking to This is Staffordshire, he said:

“I consistently raised concerns about conditions at the pub and that is why I stopped paying rent.
“It was the only way to make Punch Taverns listen. They were charging us for equipment that was not fit for purpose.”

Following an inspection of the St Edward Street pub, council officers revealed problems which included:

  • Dangerous gas appliances on the premises such as cooking equipment
  • Fire extinguishers out of date
  • Broken fire alarms

The council has ordered an urgent fire safety check, which includes safety tests to be conducted on gas equipment.

Punch Taverns is now planning to make changes to the pub, improve health and safety training and reopen with a temporary licensee in the coming weeks.