THE boss of a Widnes nightclub has hit out at Halton council for allowing a funfair to open outside his venue.

Stephen Brandreth, 30, managing director of the Cornerhouse Sports Bar on Victoria Square, said he was shocked when funfair wagons appeared outside the club on Sunday night.

He claims he had no idea about the event, which is usually located on Spike Island, until this week.

He said it seemed senseless to have it on a road that is home to two of the town’s busiest nightclubs and expressed concern about the potential increase in under age drinking.

He said: “We always have a strict challenge 25 policy in place and work closely with the council regarding the safeguarding of young people in Halton.  So to bring a children’s fun fair to the doorstep of the two busiest late night bars in the area has bemused us.

“Our licence states no under 18s must be on premises after 7pm, so how do you prevent that with added numbers across the road when we only open at 7pm and doorstaff start at 10pm?

“It doesn’t seem like any thought has gone into this decision at all. It’s certainly not the decision I would have made if I was in charge of the planning committee.”

The club boss, who has been managing the venue for nearly five years,  has decided to push back the opening hours of the Cornerhouse from 7pm to 10pm when the door supervisors start.

A statement on the club’s Facebook Page said: “We have taken this decision to protect our premises, licence and staff from the added number of under 18s in the area potentially accessing premises and attempting to purchase alcohol.”

A Halton council spokesman said: “Halton Borough Council was approached by the funfair operators a number of weeks ago regarding the possibly of moving an annual fair, previously at Spike Island, to the square.

“The operator produced a comprehensive plan addressing our key areas of concern, such as safety and maintaining access routes for both businesses and pedestrians. Local nightspots in the area do not usually get busy until after the fair shuts at 9pm.

“Halton Borough Council requested that the operator, as effectively a private business himself, held conversations with local businesses in the weeks preceding the event.

“The council agreed to trial the location this year. We will, of course, be monitoring the situation during its operation and any issues it creates will be addressed.”