Don't drink and dance

Westminster City Council cracks down on London pubs

Nov 21, 2002 - The Westminster City Council in London has pub owners making a strange plea to customers: Please don't dance or even look like you are thinking about dancing.


Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,600 costs in addition to its own legal fees after Westminster Council found people "moving rhythmically" to music in two of its Pitcher and Piano pubs.

The City Council has told pubs that if they don't have public entertainment licences (PEL) they could be prosecuted if they allow customers to move in a way that could constitute dancing.

"We have signs up everywhere, managers instruct customers, we turn the music down, rearrange the furniture and so on," said Derek Andrews of Wolverhampton and Dudley. "Unfortunately we can't always stop people acting spontaneously."

Wolverhampton is not alone. Fuller's has been served written warnings at two of its pubs about people found "swaying."

Westminster Council said that enforcing this rule was a health and safety issue because licensees who were encouraging dancing had not met any of the required safety restrictions related to owning a dancing venue.

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