Court approves closure order on Oakenshaw hairdresser

An order to close an Oakenshaw hairdresser, who has repeatedly opened during the second national lockdown, has been approved at court.

The case of Sinead Quinn – the owner of Quinn Blakey Hairdressing on Bradford Road, Oakenshaw – was heard at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court on 30 November. It was there where Kirklees Council’s application for a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 was approved.

The closure order means it is now a serious offence for anyone to enter the premises, meaning those who do enter the building now risk a maximum prison sentence of 51 weeks and/or a fine. This will be in place until 2 December when national lockdown ends.

Quinn has been issued with several fines by Kirklees Council in recent weeks – currently totalling at £17,000 and there are more Fixed Penalty Notices pending – after being found to be open and trading on multiple occasions. Hair salons are included in the list of venues required to close under national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions which came into effect on 5 November and end on 2 December.

Kirklees Council has been working closely with West Yorkshire Police to monitor the situation and on 27 November 2020 the business was found to be open and trading again.

This led to Kirklees Council applying for the closure order at court, and in the meantime a closure notice was issued to the premises on 28 November.

Councillor Paul Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “This is the last thing we wanted to have to do but we have been left with no choice. Local businesses are a crucial part of our economy and communities, and we have done everything possible to support them throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The temporary national lockdown rules were introduced by Government to help the country bring infection rates down, ease pressure on health services and to save people’s lives. This is particularly important here in Kirklees where our infection rates are above the national average.

“The overwhelming majority of businesses understood this and followed the rules, despite how difficult the impacts have been, because they rightly put people’s health and safety first which is something we all must do. Sadly, this business decided not to do that and has instead acted selfishly and recklessly – as have the people who have given her business during this lockdown period.

“Today’s result is not a cause for celebration, it’s a message to anyone who thinks they are above the law. The truth is that we are gravely disappointed that it has come to this as this is not something we ever wanted to do, but public health is our number one priority.

“Thank you to the vast majority of people in Kirklees who are following the rules and guidance. If we all continue to play our part, we will get where we need to be.”