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The fantastically-named Ian Snowball runs a sports bar called 'Showtime' with his son Adam in Huddersfield, and claims that the local council has it in for him.
62-year-old Snowball says he plans to challenge the ‘pedantic’ fine against him in court, making mention of Boris Johnson’s recent fine for parties in Downing Street during lockdown, stating that there’s ‘one rule for politicians and another for local people’.
The case is set to be heard at Kirklees Magistrates Court this Friday.
Showtime had already received a fine before now when it was charged £1,000 for having people on the premises after 10:00pm in November 2020, which was in breach of the lockdown regulations at the time.
That means that this time the fine could be £2,000 each, taking the total to £6,000.
The second incident happened in June 2021, two months after some of the parties in Downing Street, but at a time where there were still lockdown rules in place.
Specifically, the instruction that everyone had to be seated when eating or drinking.
Ian said: “It’s totally pedantic. The law says you are not allowed to stand up and eat and drink.
“Obviously, that’s written because they don’t want people walking around the pub, eating drinking and transmitting the virus.
“But this is a case of a person sitting down on a seat, and then on one occasion allegedly standing up, throwing a ball and drinking and then sitting down in the same seat.
“They haven’t moved, but the difference is, they’re said to stand up to drink at that seat.”
He continued: “What happened was, from their side, they came and looked through the window and saw some people standing playing beer pong.
“At that time, it was unlawful to allow people to stand up and eat or drink, but beer pong is played in a plastic cup and there’s a tiny little drink in it, and you throw the ball.
“Then they also go on in their evidence to say there were seven people at the table when at that time you were only allowed six.”
Despite that claim, Ian says he has CCTV evidence that there were only six people at the table, and claims that the council has a ‘vendetta’ against him because of a dispute over a road at the back of the pub.
He explained: “We call it a vendetta against me, against Ian Snowball.
“We’ve got a little bit of a battle going on with the council, whereby there’s a road running at the back which is derelict.
"It belongs to them, but when we first came here, which was in 2016, we went to see the council and told them that the road was a state, and it was unsafe.
“At that meeting, the lady who was there from planning said ‘we don’t have the money to do it, but go ahead and do it yourself’
“So, we spent tens of thousands of pounds on new cobbles and new York stone for the path and started doing all the work.
“Then along came a man from the council who own it and said you don’t have our permission to do that – and were then left in limbo. It’s kind of been constantly ongoing.”
It’s clear that the indiscretions of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, and Carrie Johnson have also left a bitter taste in his mouth, as he claims there’s ‘one rule for politicians and another for local people’.
Snowball explained: “There is and there always has been and there always will be.
“It’s a privilege of the wealthy, and people in those positions are always treated differently – and the council is one of those people.”
Colin Parr, Strategic Director for Environment and Climate Change at Kirklees Council, said: "When Covid-19 restrictions were in place, they were there to keep us all safe.
"And we thank the vast majority of businesses who worked really hard to make sure these rules were followed at all times, playing a key part in reducing Covid-19 transmission.
"We do not want to prosecute any local business, but any breach of these restrictions has to be taken incredibly seriously in the interests of public safety, irrespective of when they took place.
"In this case some restrictions were not followed and subsequent fines were issued to the owners, which remain unpaid, resulting in the prosecution."
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