A TROUBLED Huddersfield pub should be closed for good, says a top councillor.
Clr Ken Smith said the fire-damaged Little John at Bradley had long been a meeting place for groups of young men allegedly involved in drug dealing and vandalism.
And with Kirklees Council due to decide the pub's future next week the Labour councillor said: "I want the license revoked.
"I can't see things improving if it reopens as a pub."
The Ashbrow ward councillor believes most people in the area will support his stance.
He said: "Some people wouldn't like to lose a pub. But I think there are more people who have had enough of the problems associated with it."
The pub, owned by Burton-upon-Trent company Punch Taverns, has long been having problems.
Clr Smith said: "For several years we've had quite a lot of trouble around that area, with young men hanging around causing anti-social behaviour.
"They've sprayed graffiti and damaged shop windows on Copthorne Square.
"I've seen drug deals there in the past. There was some trouble in the pub as well, with fighting and criminal damage.
Clr Smith said his constituents had often complained to him about the youths, who range in age from 12 to the early 20s.
He said: "People have frequently brought this up for some years because they're afraid, particularly older people."
The Keldregate pub closed suddenly last June. A fire three weeks later destroyed a 15ft square section of the roof.
Clr Smith believes the situation has improved since the pub closed.
He said: "It's been less of a problem. because fewer people tend to hang around there.
"Sometimes there are 15 lads there, but when the pub was still open there could be anything up to 30."
West Yorkshire Police have applied to Kirklees Council to have the Little John's licence reviewed, citing problems with crime, disorder, public safety, preventing nuisance and child protection.
The Licensing Panel will decide the pub's fate on Monday. Options include revoking the licence, modifying it or suspending it for three months.
Clr Smith, Labour's deputy leader on Kirklees, wants the licence revoked and the site put to another use.
He said: "There is no public land in that part of Bradley for community use,
so that is clearly an option.
"Or the land could be used as a clinic for GPs or community nurses."
Ironically, Clr Smith has held public meetings in the Little John in the past.
He said: "The most recent was four years ago and - of all things - it was about reducing crime in the area."
The Little John's most recent licence - which came into effect on November 24, 2005 - allows alcohol to be sold from 11am to 11pm from Mondays to Wednesdays, 11am to midnight from Thursdays to Saturdays and from noon to 10.30pm on Sundays.
A Punch Taverns spokes- man said: "We're examining options for the Little John and a decision will be made in due course."