Thursday, 21 March 2019

WILLY TO REOPEN



by Emmanuel ‘Mustafa’ Goldstein 

On the 14th of March, just three days before the recent Camden/BID v James McGrath court hearing, Camden Council closed down Mr. McGrath’s pub, the King William IV, after a surprise health inspection. The council’s reason? Alleged Mice.
   Locals have confirmed that they've never once seen a mouse there and we concur.
   The timing of the closure – just two weeks after a story broke in the Hampstead Village Voice revealing the council offered the pub a £5k rates credit – £2k of which was to be ‘offset’ against a BID bill in order to vacate the court hearing was, to say the least, curious.
    It was to be a big weekend for the pub. The Six Nations, Cheltenham and, crucially for an 80-year-old Irish landlord, St. Patrick’s Day, all fell immediately after the Council’s enforced closure.
   Is it beyond the realm of possibility someone with a vested interest - pardon the pun - might have ratted to the council about these alleged mice?
   In any case, the pub has been thoroughly sanitised and reopens on Friday 22/03/19 after an enforced 8 day closure. And the Hampstead Village Voice says: Jimmy’s a local hero for fighting off these BID sheisters and standing up to the council.

If you’d like to read the full report and help support the Hampstead Village Voice, please feel free to join www.patreon.com/hampstead from only £2 a month.

CAMDEN COUNCIL | BID v KING WILLIAM TIMELINE

11/10/18: Camden | BID v King William Highbury Magistrates, first hearing: adjourned.   
17/11/18: Camden | BID v King William Highbury Magistrates, second hearing: adjourned.
05/02/19: Camden writes to King William IV offering pay pub £5k ‘rates credit’ and offset £2k to pay the BID and vacate court hearing.
06/02/19: King William IV’s counsel writes to Camden declining its generous offer.
01/03/19: Hampstead Village Voice breaks story on Camden’s attempt to pay rates credit and vacate court hearing.
14/03/19: Camden inspectors close the King William IV due to alleged ‘mouse infestation’.
17/03/19: Camden Council | BID v King William IV court hearing takes place. Adjourned.
21/03/19: King William IV reopens after an enforced 8 day closure.
29/04/19: New date for court hearing. 10am. Highbury Magistrates’ Court.
   
Emmanuel ‘Mustafa’ Goldstein

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

WILLY’S LANDLORD: “I’D RATHER GO TO PRISON THAN PAY THE BID.”




This is the third occasion on which 80-year-old Jimmy McGrath, landlord of the King William IV has been dragged to Highbury Magistrates’ court and it won’t be the last.
   He refuses to pay Hampstead Village BID Ltd's 'levy' on principle and is being seen by many businesses as a local hero - a martyr to the cause. He's certainly taking one for the team.
   But the reason he might well win this case isn’t because the BID extorts money from the 70% of Hampstead businesses, schools and charities who didn’t vote for it; nor that Camden Council acts as debt enforcer for the private limited company – nor even that several businesses have complained of being repeatedly coerced and harassed by the BID’s unapologetic management.
    These certainly are just some of the reasons he and an increasing number of 'hereditaments' – as the BID likes to call them – do not wish to pay it, and why on Monday the 17th of March 2019, he told the court: “I’d rather go to jail than pay the BID”.
   District Judge Julia Newton couldn’t quite believe her ears: ‘I’m sorry Mr. McGrath, I couldn’t quite hear what you said. Could you please repeat it?’ Mr. McGrath did so unashamedly. “I’d rather go to jail than pay the BID.” It was quite a moment.
   More eyebrows were raised too when, after nearly an hour of cross-examination, and already having read various documents, Camden’s tax officer, Charles Quick, admitted he couldn’t read the date on a document in front of him because he’d forgotten to bring his glasses. 
   But Mr. Griffiths was more interested in Camden's three-man legal team forgetting to bring along a crucial piece of evidence than their spectacles. The document in question? A legally binding information ‘insert’ sent out with all 241 BID invoices.
   Before long the QC was to reveal, what might well be, the killer blow for Hampstead Village BID Ltd...

If you’d like to read the rest of the report and help support the Hampstead Village Voice, please feel free to join www.patreon.com/hampstead from only £2 a month.

Sorry darlings, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Writers have bills too!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein
Editor in public gallery.