A PUB landlord has spoken out about his efforts to give a pub a new lease of life.

Landlord Gerard Oliver, of The City Arms, on Chester Street, Saltney, told the Leader he had been working hard to ensure the pub had a friendly trouble-free reputation.

Since Mr Oliver, 33, took over in February this year, any troublemakers have been banned and CCTV has been installed.

“The pub is busier than ever before,” said Mr Oliver, who now calls Saltney his home.

“When I first came here and looked for a pub, people warned me and said that it was going to be difficult.”

Since his arrival, he has worked closely with Cheshire Police to ban trouble-makers.

“Only one or two people have to spoil the atmosphere for everyone and when I got to know the local community and spent a few weeks here I soon knew who they were,” added Mr Oliver.

“I’m not afraid to take a stand and now I don’t allow any of the bad behaviour in the pub.

“I take an active role with the police and help if there has been any occasional trouble in the area.”

Mr Oliver helped police with their enquiries after what they described as a racially motivated attack that took place 20 yards away from the pub, in which a 27-year-old man was set upon by a group of men and women on Sunday, October 17.

He said: “The attack had nothing to do with the City Arms and I don’t want people to get the impression that we harbour racists and thugs here – it’s very important we get that message across,” said Mr Oliver.

After spending £5,000 installing CCTV equipment, Mr Oliver said he hopes to provide a safe and secure environment for all of his customers.

The native-South African has plans for a number of community charity events in aid of the Backford-based Hospice of the Good Shepherd and Help for Heroes.

He said: “We chose these two charities because they directly effect the lives of our customers – for example an ex-serviceman is one of our customers and another lost his wife recently to cancer, so it is very important we show them our support.”

Mr Oliver, who employs seven local staff members, hopes to build on the new reputation the pub has already built throughout the year.

More information about the City Arms and forthcoming charity nights is available on 01244 680350.