THE district council has responded to a barrage of criticism of its two new "licensing compliance officers" by denying they are killjoys cracking down on live music.

As the Review has reported , the role of two officers, who started work in January has been blasted by critics including The Daily Telegraph's jazz critic.

But today, Andrew Robertson, head of environment and regulatory services, said: “The joint initiative is not about clamping down on pubs with live music. The council encourages live music.

“The officers are involved in monitoring breaches of all licensed activity. For example, they have been asked to check that off-licences are not selling alcohol to people who are under-age, that pubs and take-aways are closing when they should be, that door staff are properly licensed and that Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles are plying for trade in accordance with the terms of their licences."

The relevant cabinet member, Councillor Anthony Rowlands, said: “It is a nonsense to suggest they are killjoys. To the contrary, their work, along with the council's effective partnerships with the police, pubs, restaurants and taxi trade, ensure that this is a good place for an enjoyable night out.”