LICENSEES in Malton and Norton have held a “positive” meeting to discuss government guidelines following the recent reopening of pubs.

The meeting included members of Pubwatch, along with police officers and the Ryedale District Council (RDC) licensing officer.

Luke Postlethwaite, manager of The Smithy Arms in Swinton, said the aim was to discuss how to best serve the community and make pubs a happy and safe place to be during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “Those there decided to all close their doors by 11pm and if they wanted to still serve to their own licensing hours it would be behind closed doors to minimise any trouble caused by a lower number of pubs still being open towards the end of the evening.

“We also discussed the government guidelines with us all agreeing they were ambiguous at best, but the licensing officer said they would support us rather than there being repercussions of any kind for falling foul of any guidelines.

“We did state we would all be working together and putting messages on our group to aid in making sure to inform each other of anyone not obeying the guidelines so to create a positive atmosphere in the pubs of Malton, Norton and surrounding area.”

A RDC spokesperson said: “We attended a positive meeting – to hear from pubs within the district who were primarily concerned whether or not they had put adequate measures in place to make their premises Covid-19 secure.

“We reassured them that RDC can offer help and advice in the first instance, particularly given the challenges that the pub trade is facing. Plus, that we will continue to offer assistance, as part of our commitment to support lives and livelihoods affected by the pandemic.”