South Woodford's Funky Mojoe slammed by neighbours

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Borough Commander Sue Williams during last night's meeting Borough Commander Sue Williams during last night's meeting

A LATE night bar came under renewed fire at a heated public meeting last night.

MP Iain Duncan Smith, Redbridge’s police chief Sue Williams and council leader Keith Prince listened to a steady stream of complaints about Funky Mojoe in High Road, South Woodford.

The bar was slammed again and again by neighbours who say their lives are being made miserable by drunken revellers spilling onto the streets in the early hours of the morning.

Janet Shea, 75, who lives in the Manor Court Lodge retirement flats next door to Funky Mojoe, drew loud applause from the 100 or so people gathered at St Mary’s church in the High Road.

She said: “I have been woken up every weekend for four years.

“I don’t know sometimes if I am living in the Tower of London, Holloway Prison or wherever.

“You have got people walking up and down outside your bedroom windows. It is noise and nothing but noise and we are up to here with it.”

Residents had asked politicians and police to take a tougher line on ASB outside the bar at a public meeting in February.

But Lynda Edwards, also of Manor Court Lodge, said little had changed since then.

“We just keep getting told to collect evidence, evidence, evidence,” she said.

“Four years down the line we are still collecting evidence.”

Borough Commander Sue Williams said there had been 13 crime reports at Funky Mojoe since January – two for violent assaults and the rest for mobile phone thefts.

She added that her officers had made regular visits to the bar but found no issues in terms of licensing.

But residents reiterated that it was anti social behaviour associated with the club which was their biggest concern.

Mum-of-five, Debby Buchan, who lives in the Queen Mary’s Gate development, said she regularly cleared away bottles and cans so her children did not have to look at them on their way to school.

And other residents complained about noise from a nearby car park and taxis outside the club blocking the road.

Alan Drake, head of community protection for Redbridge Council, admitted regular meetings with disgruntled residents and Funky Mojoe had failed to satisfy many.

“The residents are not as happy as they might be with the outcomes of those meetings,” he said. “They clearly still have concerns.”

Council leader Keith Prince said new legislation due to be introduced by the government in October would give the council greater powers to act against bars in the area.

And Cllr Hugh Cleaver, of Church End Ward, said: “The big mistake was giving Funky Mojoe a licence in the first place.

“It is a well-run premises in the wrong place.”

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Comments (9)

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10:23am Sat 21 Jul 12

G. Robertson says...

It's clear who IDS is interested in appeasing having meetings like this on a Friday night so anyone who would be able to defend FM's and the night time economy wasn't able to be there because they were working.
The way the area is imploding on this issue is ridiculous. FM's was a pub before and also drew complaints. This has gone on for decades and people need to realise they don't live in a sleepy country village but part of London, a 24 hour city.
If you have been having problems for 4 years surely it's time to think about moving as maybe this isn't the kind of area you want to live in anymore.
It's clear who IDS is interested in appeasing having meetings like this on a Friday night so anyone who would be able to defend FM's and the night time economy wasn't able to be there because they were working. The way the area is imploding on this issue is ridiculous. FM's was a pub before and also drew complaints. This has gone on for decades and people need to realise they don't live in a sleepy country village but part of London, a 24 hour city. If you have been having problems for 4 years surely it's time to think about moving as maybe this isn't the kind of area you want to live in anymore. G. Robertson

3:45pm Sat 21 Jul 12

LakeBreeze says...

G. Robertson, that would be a fair comment if these people were living in Wardour Street or some other truly central London nightspot. But this is South Woodford, a leafy suburb. Not a centre for nightlife. The residents have a right to demand that their lives are not disrupted like this.
G. Robertson, that would be a fair comment if these people were living in Wardour Street or some other truly central London nightspot. But this is South Woodford, a leafy suburb. Not a centre for nightlife. The residents have a right to demand that their lives are not disrupted like this. LakeBreeze

11:03pm Sat 21 Jul 12

Frank Leigh says...

G Robertson, the area isn't "imploding". The onoing considerable interest just reflects the deep unhappiness of those living around this bar - all which is caused by the serious antisocial and frankly disgusting behaviour of some of those who frequent it. And why should the neighbours move? What a ridiculous thing to say!! It shows your own lack of concern for these people, much like the owners of Funky Mojoes!
G Robertson, the area isn't "imploding". The onoing considerable interest just reflects the deep unhappiness of those living around this bar - all which is caused by the serious antisocial and frankly disgusting behaviour of some of those who frequent it. And why should the neighbours move? What a ridiculous thing to say!! It shows your own lack of concern for these people, much like the owners of Funky Mojoes! Frank Leigh

8:54am Sun 22 Jul 12

spcdust says...

That works.....ask the people that actually live in the area, most for many years, to sell up and move away so to enable a bar, serving an anti-social minority, to continue trading? Maybe G. Robertson if your elderly Grandmother had lived for many years in the retirement complex backing onto Funky Mojoes and whose later years is being made a misery you'd feel differently?

The granting of the Funk Mojoe licence was always a complete joke - the original application gave the impression that it was going to be a Oyster Champagne style bar with an emphasis on food but everyone knew this was a complete fabrication. End of the day the place is in a completely in-appropriate location for a late night venue of its type.

Just as an aside, I have never understood why people, who live on the doorstep of London's World Class nightlife, elect to visit a nightclub located in the buzzing metropolis that is South Woodford....it's kind of laughable.
That works.....ask the people that actually live in the area, most for many years, to sell up and move away so to enable a bar, serving an anti-social minority, to continue trading? Maybe G. Robertson if your elderly Grandmother had lived for many years in the retirement complex backing onto Funky Mojoes and whose later years is being made a misery you'd feel differently? The granting of the Funk Mojoe licence was always a complete joke - the original application gave the impression that it was going to be a Oyster Champagne style bar with an emphasis on food but everyone knew this was a complete fabrication. End of the day the place is in a completely in-appropriate location for a late night venue of its type. Just as an aside, I have never understood why people, who live on the doorstep of London's World Class nightlife, elect to visit a nightclub located in the buzzing metropolis that is South Woodford....it's kind of laughable. spcdust

6:26am Mon 23 Jul 12

davejackson says...

Take Their License Away!!!!!!
Take Their License Away!!!!!! davejackson

10:43am Mon 23 Jul 12

G. Robertson says...

DaveJackson has the point nailed, the license could be removed. But in 4 years it hasn't been, therefore if my old grandmother was there yes I would move her to a different retirement home, of course I would, 4 years of this at the end of someone's life is not on, but S. Woodford isn't the leafy suburb you want it to remain, it is changing into a younger place, for good or bad all these 1 and 2 flats are here and here to stay (bringing with them young people), so we need to accept that these young people want to go out in there local area. Complaining to IDS will do precisely nothing.
DaveJackson has the point nailed, the license could be removed. But in 4 years it hasn't been, therefore if my old grandmother was there yes I would move her to a different retirement home, of course I would, 4 years of this at the end of someone's life is not on, but S. Woodford isn't the leafy suburb you want it to remain, it is changing into a younger place, for good or bad all these 1 and 2 flats are here and here to stay (bringing with them young people), so we need to accept that these young people want to go out in there local area. Complaining to IDS will do precisely nothing. G. Robertson

1:25pm Mon 23 Jul 12

spcdust says...

In 4 years it hasn't lost it licence as the licensee has employed smarter lawyers than the Council have at their disposal. Also, faced with ongoing legal costs and the prospect of appeals etc. Redbridge Council just roll over.
Whilst South Woodford has seen a proliferation of 1 & 2 bedroom flats the majority of the housing stock still largely remains family homes. Also, I would counter that the majority of Funk Mojoes clientele travel from outside of the South Woodford area so the bar has very little value to the local community.
The bottom line is this particular venue is located in a wholly in-appropriate location and wether you like it or not causes genuine problems and distress on a weekly basis to local residents. These residents have every right to feel forgotten by the relevant authorities who have continuously ignored their justified grievances.
In 4 years it hasn't lost it licence as the licensee has employed smarter lawyers than the Council have at their disposal. Also, faced with ongoing legal costs and the prospect of appeals etc. Redbridge Council just roll over. Whilst South Woodford has seen a proliferation of 1 & 2 bedroom flats the majority of the housing stock still largely remains family homes. Also, I would counter that the majority of Funk Mojoes clientele travel from outside of the South Woodford area so the bar has very little value to the local community. The bottom line is this particular venue is located in a wholly in-appropriate location and wether you like it or not causes genuine problems and distress on a weekly basis to local residents. These residents have every right to feel forgotten by the relevant authorities who have continuously ignored their justified grievances. spcdust

9:43am Tue 24 Jul 12

pjn says...

G. Robertson wrote:
DaveJackson has the point nailed, the license could be removed. But in 4 years it hasn't been, therefore if my old grandmother was there yes I would move her to a different retirement home, of course I would, 4 years of this at the end of someone's life is not on, but S. Woodford isn't the leafy suburb you want it to remain, it is changing into a younger place, for good or bad all these 1 and 2 flats are here and here to stay (bringing with them young people), so we need to accept that these young people want to go out in there local area. Complaining to IDS will do precisely nothing.
G. Robertson: It's not a nursing or retirement home that people can be moved to and from like discarded rubbish. It's a set of owner occupied flats for older people who wish to retain their independence within a safe, supported community. They would have to sell their home and move from their friends and support network.
[quote][p][bold]G. Robertson[/bold] wrote: DaveJackson has the point nailed, the license could be removed. But in 4 years it hasn't been, therefore if my old grandmother was there yes I would move her to a different retirement home, of course I would, 4 years of this at the end of someone's life is not on, but S. Woodford isn't the leafy suburb you want it to remain, it is changing into a younger place, for good or bad all these 1 and 2 flats are here and here to stay (bringing with them young people), so we need to accept that these young people want to go out in there local area. Complaining to IDS will do precisely nothing.[/p][/quote]G. Robertson: It's not a nursing or retirement home that people can be moved to and from like discarded rubbish. It's a set of owner occupied flats for older people who wish to retain their independence within a safe, supported community. They would have to sell their home and move from their friends and support network. pjn

9:56am Tue 24 Jul 12

spcdust says...

Precisely pjn, G Robertson seems to have a rather niave idea of the impact moving people from their homes has - especially people in their senior years. Also, the impact of Funky Mojoe's on the wider community should not be forgotten. It really is about time Redbridge Council and the other authorities tackled the ongoing issues by applying restrictions on their drink liscence and public entertainment liscence.
Precisely pjn, G Robertson seems to have a rather niave idea of the impact moving people from their homes has - especially people in their senior years. Also, the impact of Funky Mojoe's on the wider community should not be forgotten. It really is about time Redbridge Council and the other authorities tackled the ongoing issues by applying restrictions on their drink liscence and public entertainment liscence. spcdust
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