Monday June 3, 2013 at 10:53am
The Live Music Act came into force on 1 October last year, and this was the first phase of the government's drive to cut red tape on entertainment. See my blog for details.
New regulations are now before Parliament which will relax further the need to have a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice if the proposed entertainment is an indoor sporting event or a performance of a play or dance which does not exceed a specified number, or if it does, it takes place between 8 am and 11 pm.
The ma.... (read more...)
Friday April 19, 2013 at 3:50pm
From October 2012 every Licensing Authority has been able to decide whether to introduce a Late Night Levy in its area. In making the decision they must consider the costs of policing and other arrangements for the reduction of crime and disorder relating to the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am.
Current soundings suggest that very few licensing authorities are currently considering introducing the levy, but the majority may be holding fire until they see how the levy works in pr.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 17, 2013 at 12:20pm
It is good to see a Licensing Authority setting out what it expects of licensed premises in its area. The recent Code of Good Practice and accompanying Traffic Light System introduced by the City of London do make it clear to licensees what, in the opinion of the City of London, they need to do to operate a successful business which does not undermine the licensing objectives and jeopardise the Premises Licence. But, I give a word of warning. The Code does not have any legal effect. The City of .... (read more...)
Thursday March 21, 2013 at 11:15am
After what it seems like endless years of bad news for the trade, the government apprears to have woken up to the damaging declne in business and its effects both on the commercial well being and the social life of of the nation.
First came the news this week that the government is abandoning its plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Whilst the aims were and continue to be laudable, it was always going to have the greatest impact on those law abiding folk who pose no r.... (read more...)
Monday March 4, 2013 at 10:33am
Physical alterations If you are thinking about carrying out any physical alterations to premises which have a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate for one or more licensable activities, the first thing to is to check the authorised plan of the premises. This is the plan which was filed with the licensing authority when the licence was first applied for, or if any subsequent application for variation has been made, the plan filed with the latest approved application. The filed plan forms.... (read more...)
Monday January 28, 2013 at 12:24pm
Hot on the heels of my blog last week on under age sales of alcohol, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills Better Regulation Office has just issued a new Code of Practice on Age Restricted Products. To see it click here.
It replaces the 2010 LACoRS guide, and whilst principally aimed at local authorities and others with responsibilities under the Regulators’ Compliance Code, it states "However other enforcement agencies will find it of value". The Police shoul.... (read more...)
Friday January 25, 2013 at 12:09pm
What are the offences?
1. It is a criminal offence for any person to sell alcohol to someone under 18, wherever the sale takes place. There are no exceptions. The maximum fine on conviction in a magistrates’ court is £5000.
2. In licensed premises, it is a criminal offence knowingly to allow the sale of alcohol to someone under 18. The offence includes anyone working at the premises in a capacity that would have allowed them to prevent the sale. The maximum fine on conviction in .... (read more...)
Wednesday January 2, 2013 at 11:36am
HMRC have extended the deadline for registration for Machines Duty to 11 January 2013. All those responsible for premises which have dutiable gaming machines must register with HMRC by then or risk penalties of up to 100% of the duty payable.
The new tax comes into force on 1 February 2013. It replaces Amusement Machine Licence Duty and Output VAT on machine takings. Tax is payable on net takings. The Standard rate is 20%. The Lower rate ( for machines with a maximum stake of 10p and maximum pa.... (read more...)
Wednesday November 28, 2012 at 12:22pm
The government has today launched a 10 week formal consultaion on its plans for the minimum price for alcohol, which it sees as a key instrument in its battle against “binge drinking” and the social and health consequences of alcohol abuse.
Basically it is proposing 45p per unit of alcohol. This is 5p more than it was suggesting in March. It is also proposing banning some promotional offers such as 2 for 1 and BOGOF. But more worrying fro wine lovers is that a case .... (read more...)
Wednesday October 31, 2012 at 2:23pm
Perhaps the 2 most controversial parts of the licensing changes made by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 come into force today, 31 October 2012. Some will say that Halloween is an approriate day for such draconian measures!
Heralded by the Home Office as "new powers to spread the cost of drink fuelled crime", both affect licensed premises authorised to sell alcohol between midnight and 6 am. The government estimates that these measures could generate approximately .... (read more...)
Thursday September 13, 2012 at 1:36pm
The Live Music Act comes into force on 1 October. The government (Department for Culture Media and Sport) has also issued a draft Guidance for consultation by 28 September, so the Guidance will only come after the new provisions are in force!! A new revised statutory Guidance is due to be laid before Parliament on 31 October 2012.
So what are the changes?
Firstly, note that the Act only applies to live music. So playing recorded music by DJs and other types of regulated entertainm.... (read more...)
Friday August 24, 2012 at 11:44am
The Home Office have just published a 45 page updated Guidance on False ID, replacing the February 2011 edition. The full document can be found on the Home Office website.
It seeks to offer best practice guidance on identification evidence, where it is required to prevent under age sales of alcohol, what types of ID are acceptable, checking for forgeries, checking for wrongful use of genuine ID, and handling confiscated ID.
The Guidance contains:
1. helpful examples of Military ID, which ha.... (read more...)
Thursday April 26, 2012 at 11:36am
New and significant changes to the Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 25 April 2012, as a result of implementation of some parts of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The remainder, including Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders, the Late Night Levy, and the power for licensing authorities to set their own fees, are likely to come into force in the autumn 2012 or spring 2013, as a major redrafting of the Statutory Guidance is required. The chang.... (read more...)
Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 11:50am
Since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force in 2005 there have been a number of occasions when certain police forces have closed down licensed premises with immediate effect where they consider that they are operating in breach of the conditions on their Premises Licences. Often the breaches are trivial. Examples have included CCTV systems not fully functioning, CCTV tapes not kept for the required period, a copy of the Premises Licence displayed instead of the original, and so on.
But do the.... (read more...)
Thursday March 15, 2012 at 11:19am
Licensing Act 2003 general reforms
The government have announced their intention to bring in some of the new measures contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 in April 2012. The remainder are likely to come into force in the autumn, as a major redrafting of the Statutory Guidance will be required.
The changes for April will be:
1. Licensing authorities and Health authorities will become Responsible Authorities which means they will be able to object to new applicat.... (read more...)
Thursday December 15, 2011 at 2:20pm
Diamond Jubilee and Olympics
Temporary Event Notices
Minimum Price for sale of Alcohol
Licensing Act 2003 general reforms
Music and Entertainment
Diamond Jubilee and Olympics As we approach these significant occasions for celebration, there are ample opportunities for the licensed trade to take advantage of the feel good effect.
First up is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. There will be a special holiday on 5 June following immediately on from the dela.... (read more...)
Friday November 11, 2011 at 12:03pm
Since my blog in September, there have been no major developments with the reforms already in the pipeline, but here is an update:
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act This came onto the statute books on 15 September 2011. However, we still do not know when the Act will come into force. That depends upon the Home Office, and I understand that they have not yet even begun the consultation on the necessary regulations to give effect to all the changes, let alone prepare a new Statutory Gu.... (read more...)
Monday September 19, 2011 at 11:15am
Major reforms of the Licensing Act-the so-called “redressing the balance”
I blogged back on July 29 on the proposed changes which everyone who has or who will be applying fro a Premises Licence in the future should take careful note of.
The passage of the Bill through the House of Commons and House of Lords saw no changes to the proposals as I outlined them, and the Bill became an Act of Parliament on 15 September 2011.
However, we do not know when the Act will come into force..... (read more...)
Friday August 12, 2011 at 10:05am
Many businesses and indeed anyone who has suffered loss as a result of the recent riots may find that they are not insured. Most insurance policies exclude losses caused by riots.
But there is a possible source of compensation, if only for damage to buildings. The Riot (Damages) Act 1886 covers loss to buildings and allows claims against the Police provided they are submitted within 14 days. It has been reported that the Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that this will be increased to 42 .... (read more...)
Monday August 8, 2011 at 5:16pm
The government and its predecessor have been under pressure to relax the heavy hand of regulation strangling the music scene in pubs, ever since the “2 in a bar” rule was abolished in 2005.
Before Westminster departed on holiday, proposed changes were thrashed out in the House of Lords, and will no doubt complete their journey through Parliament in the autumn.
So what will be the changes?
The original “Small Premises” provisions were confusing, and the latest change.... (read more...)
Friday July 29, 2011 at 3:06pm
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill is nearing the end of it’s passage through Parliament and will probably be given the Royal Assent before the Autumn is out and come into force some time early next year.
So what is all the fuss about and what will it mean to the licensed trade?
You may recall that when the consultation process was bounced through with the elegance of a kangaroo late last summer, the Government’s strap line was that it was conducting a “re-bal.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 20, 2011 at 3:25pm
Last week I blogged about consuming alcohol in pub gardens and similar areas. But how does a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) affect such areas?
Many local authorities have made DPPOs to combat the problems that can be caused by drinking alcohol in public. The DPPO will set out the specific geographic area it applies to. But what does a DPPO do?
It is a common mistake to think that a DPPO amounts to a total ban on drinking alcohol in public places. It is not. The drinking of alcohol is pe.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 10:47am
There is a lot of confusion, notably on the part of the Police, about where alcohol may be consumed where it has been purchased in premises licensed to sell alcohol by retail.
In premises licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, the plan filed with the application for the licence will usually identify the areas for sale, and that area will be deemed to be "on" the premises. So there is no doubt in that case that alcohol may be consumed in that area. But what abou.... (read more...)
Friday April 1, 2011 at 4:11pm
We are all waiting for the government's so called "rebalancing" of the Licensing Act, which will involve some fundamental changes to licensing law
. The changes are in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, currently on its way through Parliament. It is good to hear today via the Morning Advertiser, that the outgoing chairman of the Asosociation of Licensed Mulitple Retailers (AMLR), Tim Sykes, has made a strong attack on the reforms as deliverin.... (read more...)
Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 5:06pm
The Department of Health has published its Responsibility Deal, and has immediately run into trouble with 6 health bodies who have refused to sign up as they say that the drinks industry has been allowed to dictate health policy.
This is a shame as with any partnership such as this it is necessary to involve everyone and there are bound to be compromises. It would be naive to expect anyone to sign up unless there was some common ground.
So what is it all about? Well firstly any partner signing.... (read more...)
Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 4:51pm
The Government has given its support to a Private Members Bill which propses to cut the red tape on live muisic in pubs which hold 200 or less. They will be exempt from restrictions on regulated entertainment, and will not need to be licensed for such entertainment.
The Government support has cost an agreement to limit the live music to an 11pm finish time. It is hoped that the Bill will make rapid progress in the next month.
This will be a great help to pubs who want to put on live music on .... (read more...)
Thursday February 24, 2011 at 2:45pm
Back in August 2009 I blogged on the thorny issue of confiscation of false or forged identication documents. I said that although confiscation was widespread, the legality was far from clear. My view was that no one but the Police had the right to confiscate identity documents, but in practice it would not make a difference as no one was likely to complain if door staff or management of premises selling alcohol confiscated the ID and handed it to the Police.
Yesterday the Home Office publi.... (read more...)
Friday February 4, 2011 at 1:13pm
Karen Murphy, the landlady of a small pub in Portsmouth, yesterday scored a spectacular goal against the Premier League and Sky in the Euopean Court of Justice.
This goes back a few years to when she was convicted and fined a substantial sum for using a Greek satellite receiver for showing Premier League football in her pub. Of course, using the Greek receiver was considerably cheaper than a Sky contract in the UK. Karen has taken it all the way to the European Court. Good on her!&n.... (read more...)
Wednesday January 19, 2011 at 12:59pm
The government has just announced its plans for the minimum price for alcohol, which it sees as a key instrument in its battle against “binge drinking” and the social and health consequences of alcohol abuse.
The method they have opted for, the rate of duty plus VAT, is the easiest to legislate for and enforce. It also follows that every time the duty changes, so will the minimum price with immediate effect. This ensures that increases are passed on to the customer where minimum pr.... (read more...)
Thursday November 11, 2010 at 1:35pm
Back in January I blogged on the Police powers to close licensed premises. But those powers do not extend to bona fide members clubs who possess a Club Registration Certificate rather than a Premises Licence.
I have just advised a members club. They have a Club Registration Certificate. They held a party a few weeks back. Things got out of hand.They were gate crashed and trouble broke out. The Police were called. The Police told them they must close and not re-open until they had installed a ne.... (read more...)
Thursday October 28, 2010 at 1:10pm
As we approach the festive season, there may be occasions when your current Premises Licence or Club Premises Cerrtificate does not give you enough scope to hold a particulare event. For example your hours for sale or supply of alcohol may not be what your customer wants, or you do not have a particular licensable activity on your licence, such as regulated entertainment or late night refreshment.
Those organising a one-off event who do not have a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate .... (read more...)
Tuesday October 12, 2010 at 1:01pm
My last blog talked about the last 2 new mandatory conditions which came into force on 1 October 2010, first of all requiring an age -verification policy where alcohol is sold, and secondly smaller measures of alcoholic drinks. Since then there has been some confusion over what these new conditions require. I have even seen advice from a licensing authority which is not only misleading but wrong!
The Home Office has issued a summary of these new measures with a suggested form of age v.... (read more...)
Tuesday September 28, 2010 at 11:35am
Back in March I blogged on the 5 new mandatory licence conditions attached to every Premises Licence and Club Premises Certificate. To remind you the first 3 came into force on 6 April 2010, and the remainder come into force this Friday 1 October 2010. All apply even if not endorsed on the paper document.
The first 3 were the the ban on irresponsible promotions, the ban on the so-called "dentists' chair" supply of alcohol, and the requirement to have free tap water available to.... (read more...)
Wednesday August 25, 2010 at 1:20pm
Licensing initiatives from surprising quarters.
Getting away from the flurry of stories on the Government’s consultation on their proposed changes to the licensing law (a done deal I think!), a couple of unrelated stories in the Morning Advertiser caught my eye. And I very much doubt they will have been highlighted by the Daily Mail.
The first is the initiative by Nottingham County Council to support and encourage pub lunch schemes for pensioners. Much more interesting than sitting at h.... (read more...)
Friday August 13, 2010 at 3:25pm
Police to take over Licensing? Perhaps it is going too far to suggest that the Police are taking over licensing, but the trade would be forgiven for thinking that the pendulum is about too swing too far in favour of the Police. Here I am referring to the Home Office consultation on revamping the licensing laws to put more power in the hands of local Police and communities. A few weeks back I blogged about the Derby Police call for a freeze on new licences in the city. I said that under the exist.... (read more...)
Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 1:08pm
Earlier this month the Morning Advertiser ran a story about the Derby police chief wanting a temporary ban on new licences in the city. It immediately struck me that the Chief Superintendant either did not know his licensing law or he was making a point to provoke a change to the existing law. So what is the law?
Quite simply the licensing authorities have no power whatsoever to impose a blanket ban on the grant of new Premises Licecenses to sell alcohol. The Licensing Act clearly states that e.... (read more...)
Monday July 19, 2010 at 3:36pm
It seems strange that Military ID may not be accepted as poof of age when buying alcohol. You may think that Military ID is the most secure form of ID. But for a long time the acceptable forms of ID have been a Passport, European Driving Licence (with photo), and a PASS accredited card.
All the training and literature and signage has been geared to these forms of ID. And many Premises Licences will have conditions endorsed on them insisting on specific accepatble forms of ID, and Military ID i.... (read more...)
Tuesday July 13, 2010 at 2:31pm
The new government is moving ahead rapidly with consultations in a number of areas effecting the licensed trade. It is rumoured that the fast track review of the licensing laws will result in measures being introduced in parliament in the autumn.
And let us not forget the promise to get rid of red tape where possible. The Your Freedom initiative is gathering suggestions via its website www.yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk So now is the time to put forward suggestions. My pet hate is the Designated .... (read more...)
Monday July 5, 2010 at 9:51am
You may remember the flurry of activity by the last government during the last few months of 2009 to introduce electronic licensing via the web. It was all done in a rush to avoid breach of EC legislation. I said at the time that it was a pig's ear, was full of flaws and uncertainties, and that Licensing Authorities would not be geared up either then or in the near future to deliver the promised package.
Six months on and nothing has changed. The system should allow licensing applications such .... (read more...)
Monday June 21, 2010 at 3:29pm
Back in March I blogged on the new mandatory conditions which came into force on 6 April. One of these conditions was a ban on irresponsible promotions.
But remember the overiding requirement with the irresponsible promotions condition, that even if a promotion falls into one of the listed categories (see my earlier blog) or a similar category, to be in breach of the condition the offending promotion must be designed to encourage the sale or supply of alcohol and in a manner which carries .... (read more...)
Monday June 7, 2010 at 10:54am
You may remember that back in February I blogged on the outcome of the court case supported by The British Beer and Pub association (BBPA) which meant that PPL had been overcharging to the tune of perhaps £20m across the industry since 2005.
It has just been announced that Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) have written to all holders of PPL licences to explain how they can reclaim the overpayments going back to 2005. Letters should be arriving this week. So all venues, pubs, clubs, hotel.... (read more...)
Tuesday June 1, 2010 at 10:10am
The celebration of the World Cup with promotional events and high spirits is bound to bring out the kill joys. There will be occasions when celebrations are taken to excess, but is it necessary for a doomsday approach by the Home Office? It is rumoured that they are taking a tough position in "guidance notes" issued to police forces, and that pubs face heightened contact from the police during the football tournament.
It is understood that there will be random visits to licensed premi.... (read more...)
Monday May 24, 2010 at 10:21am
After much speculation that the brief for licensing will be passed from the Department for Culture Media and Sport to the Home Office, there has obviously been a change of mind as the news confirms that the responsibility for licensing will remain with the DCMS.
The new Minister for licensing is John Penrose, who holds the brief for tourism and heritage, and is also the Minister for gambling. He will have to battle with the Home Office who will lead the government's much publicised tough stance.... (read more...)
Monday May 17, 2010 at 11:52am
Back in January I posted a blog about the police tactic of closing pubs immediately for minor or indeed any breach of a condition on the Premises Licence. I stated that the police had no power to force pubs or any premises to close or cease licensable activities of selling alcohol, late night refreshment, or regulated entertainment. Only the magistrates have the power to order that the premises cease licensable activities until a condition is complied with. The police may issue a closure n.... (read more...)
Friday May 14, 2010 at 11:10am
For many years the police have been reluctant to target under 18's who buy or attempt to buy alcohol. Almost always they have gone for the staff who are behind the bar, and usually with fixed penalty fines. And with failure of test purchases the Premises Licence owner has either been prosecuted, taken to review, and with persistent failure (2 in 3 consecutive months) forced to close for a limited period at the police direction as well as taken to review.
Perhaps there has been reluctance .... (read more...)
Monday May 10, 2010 at 10:25am
It looks highly likely that there will be a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, so what is that likely to mean for licensed premises?
In fact the Election Manifestos of both parties were remarkably similar. Where Labour would have continued with their programme of creeping legislation driven by the tabloid press, will the new coalition offer anything different? It seems that the industry is a soft target which will appeal to the legislators looking for less controversial business to fi.... (read more...)
Wednesday March 31, 2010 at 3:08pm
A reminder that 3 of the 5 new mandatory conditions come into force on Tuesday 6 April 2010.
These conditions apply even if they are not printed on the Premises Licence. The new conditions are that free tap water is provided on request where it is reasonably available, that no alcohol is dispensed directly by one person into the mouth of another, and that there are no irresponsible promotions.
The irresponsible promotions condition is of course the one which is likely to cause problems. An ir.... (read more...)
Thursday March 11, 2010 at 10:38am
The recent news that a West Yorkshire pub has been forced to sack some young waitresses due to local by-laws prompts a look at the law on employment of children in the trade.
In the case of the Yorkshire pub the Kirklees Council by-laws state that children under school leaving age cannot work after 7pm, cannot work for more than 2 hours on a school day or a Sunday, cannot work for more than 12 hours in a week during a school term, and cannot work in a commercial kitchen.
So what is the law for.... (read more...)
Tuesday February 16, 2010 at 10:41am
Pubs and other venues which pay licence fees to PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) for playing music are due a substantial repayment following a High Court ruling last week.
It is estimated that they have been overcharged to the tune of £10 million since 2005, and it should result in savings of over £3 million a year to the industry.
The High Court upheld a ruling by the Copyright Tribunal last November, and it leads the way to pubs being able to claim repayments. Full details.... (read more...)
Monday February 8, 2010 at 10:39am
Just breaking is news that the government have appointed John Healey MP as minister for pubs, a new role designed to head up a task force to save the traditional british pub which are closing now at the rate of 39 a week (52 a week a year ago) according to the British Beer and Pub Association.
Perhaps the government have woken up to the fact that the agency responsible for the licensed sector, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and the Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, have effective.... (read more...)
Monday January 18, 2010 at 9:57am
Over the past few years there have been a number of occasions when certain police forces have closed down licensed premises with immediate effect where they consider that they are operating in breach of the conditions on their Premises Licences. Just before Christmas there were 2 such cases in the north of the country where CCTV systems were not functioning.
But do the Police have the power to close premises with immediate effect in such circumstances? The short answer is no. I am concerned th.... (read more...)
Tuesday January 12, 2010 at 9:39am
At the end of the second week of 2010 we can look back on Christmas and look at predictions for the year.
Trade over Christmas seems to have been very patchy. Some independent real ale brewers have reported good trading figures, whereas other sectors have posted disappointing results. I cant help but think that the weather played a big part this year. Unless your customers were snowed in with you for days, like Englands highest pub the Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales, or you were providing.... (read more...)
Tuesday January 5, 2010 at 11:01am
Last month I told you about the changes made by the Policing and Crime Act 2009 of November. The government have just announced that they will be bringing in to force some of the changes earlier than we expected. Perhaps an early election is on the cards?
The intention is to introduce the following changes on 29 January:
Allowing members of Licensing Authorities to object to applications and initiate a review of a Premises Licence or Club Registration Certificate
Making it an offence t.... (read more...)
Monday December 14, 2009 at 2:59pm
Cousins Business Law licensing specialist Nigel Musgrove has been named as a leader in his field in Chambers UK 2010.Nigel specialises in licensing and gaming law advising breweries, pubcos, hotels, pubs, restaurants and clubs. He has acted as legal adviser to a local authority during the licensing transitional stage.
Nigel is an Affiliate Member of the British Institute of Innkeeping and teaches monthly on their personal licence holder qualification.
Nigel, who joined Cousins Business L.... (read more...)
Monday December 14, 2009 at 11:25am
There is nothing like a looming election to concentrate the mind of government. Those issues which have been festering in a dark corner of their cupboard suddenly are dragged out to be sorted. Never mind that they have been waiting for 7 years, it is now all hands to the deck to make the Licensing Act 2003 fit for purpose.
In my last blog I mentioned the sudden surge to allow electronic service of most licensing applications. This should have been possible from the very start, but the EU h.... (read more...)
Thursday October 22, 2009 at 1:54pm
Along with their New Year celebrations the trade can at last raise a glass to the fact that they will be able to submit most licensing applications and notifications on-line from 28 December.
This should have been possible from 2005 when the new licensing regime was introduced, as it would have saved a lot of hassle and a lot of money. Only now has the government been forced into the changes by Brussells through a European Directive which must be complied with by 28 December. Yes Brussels does .... (read more...)
Thursday October 8, 2009 at 9:53am
So now we know. Alcohol licensing is to be a political football in the run up to the election, with possible irretrievable damage to the trade to follow. I knew at the time that handing over responsibility for licensing from the magistrates to locally elected politicians was a huge mistake on a Trojan Horse scale. Once empowered the shackles are about to be loosened, and the power surge seen in Oldham will be just the beginning.
Both Labour and the Tories are both committing themselves to stren.... (read more...)
Thursday September 17, 2009 at 5:25pm
The Times reports this morning that none other than Lord Mandelson appears to have stepped in to halt crippling red tape which few other than the Home Office thought necessary or sensible.
Mandy appears to have a bigger stick than the Home Office bully boys! Where the Licensing Minister from the DCMS has been largely ineffectual, it has taken someone with clear thinking to spot that the last thing an embattled trade wants just now is another delivery of red tape. Even licensing authorities and .... (read more...)
Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 2:48pm
Under 18s are canny at using all means to try and buy alcohol. Often this involves fake or borrowed identification documents such as passports and driving licences.
Many pub and other retail outlets are adpting a policy of confiscation of ID and sending it to the relevant authority such as the Passport Office or DVLA. Some Police forces positively encourage confiscation and have a procedure for dealing with the ID. This is proving an effective deterrent where used, as word quickly gets around .... (read more...)
Tuesday July 28, 2009 at 4:51pm
On Wednesday 29 July 2009 new procedures come into force for dealing with so called "minor variations" of Premises Licences.
The problem is that the government have failed to nail a helpful definition. As usual the language they use is woolly and open to wide variation. And in this case that puts the power into the hands of the licensing authority licensing officers. Any application must therefore be something of a gamble and could cost you time and money.
So what is it all about? U.... (read more...)
Tuesday July 7, 2009 at 3:09pm
Since 2004 not a summer has gone by without a campaign to target licensed premises selling alcohol to under 18’s. This year sees a slightly different approach, with the focus on 69 youth crime priority areas designated by the government.
£1.4 million of “new cash” has been committed to the 69 youth crime priority areas in response to feedback that alcohol “remains a major factor influencing low level crime and anti-social behaviour”. The 69 areas have to sub.... (read more...)
Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 2:45pm
Responsibility for fire, health and safety issues rests with the operator of the business. Since 1 October 2006 it has been necessary for all businesses to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Order applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales. If you are responsible for business premises, an employer or self-employed with business premises, or responsible for any part of a dwelling used for business purposes, or indeed a contractor with some control over .... (read more...)
Tuesday June 2, 2009 at 1:25pm
The recently issued Home Office consultation “Safe Sensible Social” suggests that new regulations will come into force in the near future requiring licensed premises to display UK unit contents of alcoholic products. This will be in addition to the voluntary code between the government and the industry, surely a clear case of over regulation and a recipe for confusion?
The information will have to be “within sight” of the point of sale. I therefore expect that there wil.... (read more...)
Thursday May 21, 2009 at 9:20pm
Will punters be amused by the prizes? In June the maximum stakes and prizes for Category C Amusement with Prizes (AWP) machines in pubs is set to double. Maximum stakes will be £1, and the maximum prize will go up to £70. But this news comes with a sting in the tail, as machine tax is rising from £760 to £830 per year.
Landlords of licensed premises may see little benefit in direct terms, but hope it will keep existing customers interested, and with luck attract new one.... (read more...)
Friday May 15, 2009 at 10:08am
Licensee Kerry Fenton clearly grabbed the headlines with her bid to boost customers by getting round the smoking ban, but was she right?
She established a designated room in her pub and claimed it was for smoking research. Customers who smoked there were required to fill out a questionnaire on their smoking habits. She had been advised that this was a loophole in the law and would allow smoking in the designated room.
The regulations provide that a designated room in a research or testing fa.... (read more...)
Wednesday May 13, 2009 at 4:13pm
A great summer of sun is forecast, and the licensed trade desperately needs kind weather particularly after last year’s washout and the winter of credit crunch misery. Sunshine puts everyone in a good mood, and particularly customers who will be more inclined to spend their cash as part of the feel good factor. But there is danger in the sunshine, and not just from sunburn! Pub gardens and outside areas will be a big attraction. But all this outside activity will generate a lot of noise, w.... (read more...)
Friday May 1, 2009 at 8:39am
Business operators should not be tempted to use a Sky domestic card to screen events in their business premises. Not only are they committing a criminal offence but they could risk losing their business. Recently a Bridgend pub landlady found herself with a criminal record and a hefty liability of nearly £7000 in fines and costs for 3 offences of screening Premiership football using her domestic Sky card, but she also had her Personal Licence revoked by the sentencing magistrates. Whilst t.... (read more...)
Thursday April 30, 2009 at 11:10am
Licensing solicitor Nigel Musgrove has joined the Cousins Business Law team this month, to strengthen our litigation team and offer specialist licensing advice.
Nigel brings a wealth of experience in both licensing and dispute management and litigation.
As well as being a solicitor, Nigel is a published author having penned The Licensing Handbook, a plain English Guide to licensing law.
Anyone about to open a licensed premises would be well advised to read Nigel's article - Opening licensed p.... (read more...)