By Julia Atherley
Missoula could be stripped of its licence following the death of Durham University student Olivia Burt outside the nightclub in February.
Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council launched a joint investigation into the events surrounding the death on the 8th February.
The local authority’s licencing committee has yesterday announced its plans to review Missoula’s licence. The request is expected to be heard at the next meeting of the committee scheduled for the 22nd May.
The proposed action would see Missoula barred from selling alcohol, but both Durham Constabulary and Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for Durham, have suggested a wider, targeted approach to reviewing safety in the city.
In comment given to The Chronicle, a Durham Constabulary spokesperson said: “This should not be taken in itself as an indication that Durham Constabulary have found fault with the operators of these premises, but rather as a step which it is hoped will promote the licensing objectives of public safety and the prevention of disorder with regard to both this particular premises and within the Walkergate complex as a whole.”
The 20-year-old Durham student was a member of University College and tragically died following a crushing incident involving a barrier outside the nightclub, as reported by Palatinate.
Ms Blackman-Woods has previously expressed anger following the reopening of the nightclub two weeks following the incident.
She has since welcomed the review of the licensing agreement, and speaking to The Chronicle, the Labour MP for Durham City said: “I am pleased to hear Durham Constabulary has asked for a review of Missoula’s premises licence, and have contacted the council to support this request and to call for a wider review in the city centre.”
She continued: “Following this request from the police, I have asked for the council to carry out a review of its licensing policy for Durham, as the wider issues such as the suitability of the locations for many of the licensed establishments in Durham, public safety and the management of the night time economy still remain.”
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Olivia Burt remains ongoing and is being conducted by Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council.
Photograph: Alexander Amatosi via Flickr