A Chesham pub and its supporters were left stunned after a fake letter posing as the Council appeared in residents’ mailboxes.

The landlady and neighbours of The Jolly Sportsman Pub on Chesham’s Eskdale Avenue were puzzled to find a noise complaint letter with what appeared to be the Buckinghamshire Council logo.

Deborah Wilbee, whose company Wilbee Having Fun Ltd runs the pub in partnership with Punch Tavern, explained: “We had an event on Saturday [July 16], which was okayed by council, we had a DJ and music.”

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“On Sunday some customers came into the pub who had these leaflets delivered, saying ‘I just wanted to let you know about this’." 

Addressed to residents, the mysterious letter asked anyone disturbed by “noise nuisance at any time from the Jolly Sportsman Pub” to email their complaints to Bucks Council, the CEO of Punch Taverns or the Bucks Council and Chesham Town councillor Joseph Baum.

“Do not suffer in silence let us know!”, it added.

Ms Wilbee was “really hurt and upset by it to be honest” after she opened the letter.

She said: “It seems it’s a resident.

 “The community have gotten together to support us. I’ve had multiple people come in with the letter concerned, they’re annoyed because they think the Council is somehow trying to incite against the business, but it has transpired that it’s a resident who has taken it upon herself to make these leaflets.

“Even people who haven’t used the pub have come in to express their support.

“We don’t have regular parties or anything like that, it’s all very respectful.

"All of our neighbours, even our closest neighbours who have got young children, they come in to use the pub regularly and we have a great relationship.

“I did email the councillor that was listed on the letter, and he said this was the first time he had seen it, and they hadn’t authorised its use.”

Ms Wilbee also reported the incident to the police as fraud.

“The person who we think is behind it has actually had a campaign against me and this pub since 2013,” she said.

She took a break from the relentless job of running a pub in 2017, but returned at the helm in November 2021.

“In the time I was gone the pub has been in the press for bad reasons, there’s been a lot of fights and violence in the years I wasn’t here, and all the residents are really happy to see me back because they’ve noticed the anti-social behaviour has decreased, the noise doesn’t go on until 11pm anymore,” she admitted.

Buckinghamshire Council tweeted a response to the “fraudulent” notice:

“Hi, thank you for bringing this to our attention. We can confirm that this notice is fraudulent and has not been issued by Buckinghamshire Council. We are in the process of carrying out further investigations.”

The “well-loved community pub” had all relevant licenses for its Saturday event, and Punch pubs has received a single complaint about noise from the “stand-alone event”, Senior Operations Manager Sarah Edmunds from Punch Pubs confirmed.

Councillor Joseph Baum declined to comment.