Norwich licensing group looking for new figurehead

Peter WalshA group which looks after the interests of licensees across the city is looking for a new figurehead after its chairman stepped down.Peter Walsh

A group which looks after the interests of licensees across the city is looking for a new figurehead after its chairman stepped down.

Richard Attoe has resigned as the chairman of the Norwich City Centre Licensing Forum, which was set up in 2004 and was one of the first such organisations in the country.

The forum is committed to upholding public safety within Norwich's inner ring road by working not just with licensees and statutory authorities, but also with key businesses in the leisure industry, and residents.

Mr Attoe, a licensee and company director of Qube nightclub, in Prince of Wales Road, and Media nightclub, in Rose Lane, said he enjoyed his time at the helm of the organisation.

He said: 'I've done it for a year and have taken it forward in that year. It took a hell of a lot of my time. I enjoyed it, but changes in direction of with what I was doing for a living. I was shocked at the round of applause I got when I resigned and everyone said how well I did.'

Mr Attoe said that licensees in the city centre had been blamed for a lot of the problems that happen in Norwich, but that he was proud that during his time on the forum he had helped try and turn that perception around.

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Julian Foster, one of the founding members of the forum and chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens Forum, paid tribute to the previous chairman and said he would be a hard act to follow.

He said: 'Richard has held the forum together very well and has made it very much more popular. One of the difficulties in the past was that the forum was very much an opportunity for people to discuss problems in Prince of Wales Road, Riverside and Tombland, and all the other licensees felt excluded from it.

'What Richard has done is allowed licensees further out to get involved and talk about their difficulties - the problems that arise in the city centre are quite different from those that occur out towards the ring road.'

Nick D'eath, landlord of the Unthank Arms, is the forum's vice-chairman and will have to elect a new chairman at the next meeting.

Mr Foster said: 'Mr D'eath has made it quite clear he doesn't want to be the chairman, so they will have to conduct an election at the next meeting.'

The next meeting of the Norwich City Centre Licensing Forum takes place at Mercy nightclub at 3pm on Tuesday, February 2.

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Have you got a pubs story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email