Neglect of Business : Take-over Refused
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NEGLECT by the owner for two years, followed by the assignment of the business to his creditors, and lack of evidence that there was still a business to take over, led to the refusal by the North Western Deputy Licensing Authority last week of an application by Mr. W. Blundell, Southport, to take over the goodwill and A licence for three vehicles of Messrs_ Wright's Removals. Southport.
Objectors were Walter Carter (Harrods), Ltd., Messrs. C. Grimley and Sons, Southport, W. Howard and Sons (Southport), Ltd., Waring and Gillow (Southport), Ltd., Messrs. Poulsom and Sons, and Messrs. J. Crossley.
Mr. J. Bellis, for the applicant, said that the owner, Mr. A. Butterworth, got into financial difficulties last year and the business was assigned to an accountant in May this year. In August last Mr. Blundell contracted to buy, subject to the grant of a licence.
Mr. Blundell, cross-examined by Mr. H. D. Mace. for the objectors, denied that 80 per cent. of the business was formerly outside Southport. Mr. C. Thornton, art accountant, said that when he took over the business there were no financial records. He was satisfied that Mr. Butterworth had had cash transactions of not less than £1,000 a year.
Work had been absorbed by other operators, said Mr. Mace_ To establish a case under Section 11(3)(b) of the 1933 Act, it was necessary for certified figures to be produced. The Authority stated that there were rules for this type of case. He felt that the business had been neglected for at least two years and absorbed by others.
DECISION WITHHELD FOR FIGURES
DECISION was reserved until properly certified accounts were received when the North Western Deputy Licensing Authority last week heard an application by Mr. H. Critchley, St Helens, who wished to replace two vehicles totalling 5i tons unladen on his B licence by twct totalling 8 tons.
For the applicant, Mr. E. A. Whitehead said that in 1949 he agreed to buy the business of Woods and Duckworth, Ltd., including two A-licence vehicles. The sale was never completed and the licence lapsed in November last year. The vehicles were off the road until March this year, and during that time some of the work was done by the applicant's B-licence vehicles.
In April his application for an A licence was refused. The present application was to place the vehicles on the B licence.
The Authority said that it was unsatisfactory that there were no certified figures. The same difficulty had arisen in several of Mr. Whitehead's cases, he alleged.