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Traders Line Up Against SkyDome Troublemakers

A landlady of a successful city centre pub said she is considering leaving because of the trail of noise and destruction caused by revellers leaving the SkyDome complex.

Lynn Graham’s Old Windmill pub in Spon Street was recently selected as one of the top five pubs in the country by a pub guide.

But trouble in the area has escalated with people leaving the SkyDome late, breaking windows, leaving excrement and vomit in doorways and causing noise.

The situation is now so bad that Lynn says she often just sits in her flat above the pub crying at her lack of sleep.

Her leaded windows have been smashed, number plates stolen from her car, alarms are constantly set off and people use the street as a lavatory.

She said regulars are starting to leave the pub because they fear for their safety in the street.

Lynn, who has been in charge of the medieval pub for four years, said there is now an atmosphere of violence and destruction in the street when the SkyDome closes.

And she said promises made by the SkyDome management that the street would be policed by their own staff have been broken as drunken people are left to run riot.

On Wednesday morning, following the performance by DJ Trevor Nelson, Lynn kept a diary of the disturbances that kept her awake from 1am to 3am.

This included a policeman being clipped by a car driven by a man ejected from the club following an alleged assault.

He hit the officer as he drove off and has been interviewed and released on police bail.

The officer was treated for injuries, but has returned to work.

Three women were arrested a half an hour later, at 2.45am on suspicion of assaulting door staff. They too were bailed.

Tonight Lynn will join other traders in Spon Street in telling the police that something needs to be done.

She said that even the bikers who visit the pub are starting to become reluctant to go down the street.

Lynn said:

“There’s a horrible tense atmosphere in the street. Even I feel threatened when I go down the street with my dog, and that’s a German Shepherd.”

 “Women flash their boobs at them through the window and try and get on their bikes. There’s bound to be an accident.

“And the taxis come up and down the street so quickly that somebody is bound to be run over. Some of my older customers don’t come down here any more because of the risk.

“If other publicans allowed their customers to behave like this then they would lose their licence.”

Colin Walker of the Spon Street Forum said the SkyDome’s impact was having a negative effect on the area.

He said:

“Managers from the centre met with the Spon End Forum before Christmas and promised to keep in constant touch with the community but have failed to do so.

“Local traders are also worried by the general impact that the development is having on Spon Street.

“What was once an attractive tourist attraction is now becoming damaged and shabby.

“Trade has suffered further since the opening of the SkyDome and specialist shops are closing and being replaced by fast food take-aways.

“There are also plans for another nightclub, the Venue, to expand into Spon Street.

“A 'Browns type cafe-bar' that was supposed to be a major daytime attraction now closes during the day and has become yet another club.”

Members of the Forum are calling for the following action to be taken:

  • A ban on the distribution of flyers and on the removal of glasses and bottles from the SkyDome complex.
  • Stricter planning controls on the opening of takeaways and further clubs in Spon Street.
  • Better policing of club-goers by the SkyDome once they have left the premises.
  • Regular attendance of SkyDome representatives at community meetings.
  • More effective management of traffic, including improved parking restrictions and policing and a ban on vehicles in the street after 6pm.
  • Better daily cleaning of Spon Street, the subway and Spon End, paid for by the SkyDome or City Centre Company.
  • Improved security in the Spon Street subway.

Lynn Graham added that a metal grille could be installed to prevent people leaving the nightclubs via Spon Street after midnight.

She said a taxi rank in the Co-op car park could encourage people to leave in that direction, and it would help ease the congestion and traffic problems suffered in Spon Street.

The M1 Police Consultative Committee meeting is at 7.30pm in the Council House.

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 22 Jun 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM