Cheatmeals Gets Late Licence Despite Officers' Objections

Councillors approve application by Uxbridge Road takeaway

Cheat Meals on Uxbridge Road, West Ealing. Picture: Google Streetview


Scepticism over Shop's Explanation for Illegal Medicines

Punchy Display from Lawyer at Tiger Bay Licence Panel

Hanwell Off Licence Banned from Selling Alcohol

Owners of Hanwell Off Licence Unhappy About Review

Southall Burger Restaurant Given Extended Hours in Face of Objections

Fireaway Pizza Gets Licence To Stay Open Until 4am

Southall Shop Refused Licence Despite Potential New Owner

Ealing Park Tavern Moves Step Closer to Reopening

Pub Where Man Was Fatally Stabbed Cleared to Reopen

Sign up for our weekly Ealing newsletter

Comment on this story on the

November 2, 2023

Ealing Council has approved an extension to a fast food restaurant’s licensable hours despite months of alleged rule-breaking. Cheatmeals on Uxbridge Road, West Ealing has been accused of operating expended opening hours from as early as April until mid-October according to council officers who opposed the restaurant’s application.

In a sub-licensing committee meeting that assessed the potential increase of Cheatmeals hours for offering late night refreshments from 11pm until 3am, barrister Sarah Clover offered ‘profuse apologies’ for what she called a miscommunication. Ms Clover states that there were crossed wires due to a police letter that approved of the changes, which she says her clients took as an indication that they were able to remain open longer.

She told the councillors of the committee that it was not their role to assess the guilt of her clients or ‘meet out punishment’ but to look at the application as it stood. That did not completely reassure the councillors presiding over the meeting with both Cllr Jon Ball and Cllr John Martin raising concerns on the basis of alleged rule breaking.

Cllr Martin asked Ms Clover that if the premises has broken the rules already what is stopping them from doing it again if they were to approve later opening hours? The barrister reiterated it was a ‘misunderstanding’ on her client’s behalf and that the council was not there to sit in judgment of the restaurant breaking the rules and that is the role of the Magistrates’ Court.

Ms Clover made pains to mention the upsides of the application including putting a positive spin on her client’s ‘misdemeanour’. She said that due to Cheatmeals adopting the police letter as policy, including the condition placed on it, the period of rule-breaking had actually acted as an ‘acid test’ for if the licence was approved.

She cited the fact that CCTV and training had already been introduced as per the request of the police and Sami Akbary, manager of the restaurant, added that he had already complied with authorities when he handed over CCTV footage to help with an investigation. However, Mimi Stupu from the Noise & Nuisance Team and Shane Elliot, from the council’s Licensing Team seemed unconvinced.

Mr Elliot said that approving a licence for rule breakers “doesn’t set a good precedent” while Ms Stupu elaborated on examples of what she believed was the restaurant’s “poor management”. She said struggled to speak to someone despite multiple attempts to contact the restaurant about the noise coming from the extractor fan, which she says residents had complained to the council about.

This is something that Ms Clover attempted to refute saying that Ms Stupu’s failure to provide a phone number had been a factor. A much larger reason for the problems around communication with the council was Mr Akbary’s absence from the business due to the death of his father.

Officers accepted the explanation but made the point that there didn’t seem to be another member of management staff that could help them while Mr Akbary was away. At the time, officers said that this came across as disrespectful and uncooperative.

However, Mr Akbary was quick to insist that there was “no hesitancy to cooperate with any authority whether it be the council or police.” With all of this in mind, the panel retired for a short deliberation period.

Chair Cllr Amarjit Jammu read out the council’s decision to approve the application stating that the business must follow the rules set out by the police which included maintenance of good CCTV and an incident log to be kept on the premises. As well as that an additional condition was added requiring the restaurant to have the name and number of a reasonable person who can be contacted by the council, police and residents which must be circulated to residents in nearby neighbourhoods.

Rory Bennett - Local democracy reporter


Bookmark and Share