A SENIOR councillor is demanding answers after a teenage party held at a North- East bar and promoted on Facebook culminated in hundreds of teenagers spilling on to the street.
Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said the chaos at the half-term party at The Grange, in Darlington, last Wednesday must never be repeated, and is campaigning for tighter regulations on underage parties.
Police, who confirmed no alcohol was being sold inside the venue, shut the party down at 9.30pm after being called 15 minutes earlier to deal with rowdy behaviour. Hundreds of teenagers spilled out on to the street, where scuffles broke out.
One youth was arrested and another was taken to hospital by her parents, who were concerned about the amount of alcohol she had drunk.
A spokesman for The Grange previously told The Northern Echo the party was never out of control; that staff were confident that no licensing laws had been broken and that there had been no problem with overcrowding.
The Grange said the party ended because of a disagreement between the DJ and the organiser.
Councillor Hughes is meeting police and the council’s licensing officers today, who are conducting investigations.
She said: “I have requested information as to any conditions or arrangements agreed on The Grange’s licence.
“I feel particularly strongly about the fact that if underage events are taking place at various venues in the town, that safeguarding measures are firmly in place.
“From what I have heard from the young people at the event, the door staff could have been better trained in dealing with issues faced. I am also concerned about allegations of over-crowding.
“I have asked to be briefed by the police and the licensing department following meetings and interviews with the organiser of the event and others.
“I will be campaigning for tighter conditions to be put in place on venues catering for underage events – whether they be private parties or ticket events. We certainly do not want a repeat of what happened on Wednesday.
“The vast majority of the young people at The Grange on Wednesday night acted in a law-abiding fashion.
“Equally, many parents believed their children to be at a well-run, quality event. I have requested information as to what went wrong so this sort of thing is not repeated.”
Party organiser Mark Lamb, 16, said the chaos was not his fault and said he had been made to feel a laughing stock.
No one from The Grange was available for comment.