Electronic Licensing-not what it says on the tin

Posted: Monday, 5 July 2010 @ 09:51

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 as Temporary Event Notices, applications for new Premises Licenses, and for variations, to be conducted on line with a streamlined sysytem and potential big saving in red tape and costs. But I have not used the system because of the uncertainties, and my fellow professionals seem to be share my distrust. It is also difficult to identify the few Licensing Authorities who are actually able to undertake on line licensing. They do not have in place the necessary sytems for processing the applications or for taking on line payments, necessary for the applications to be valid.

It is unlikely that the situation will improve in the near future. With the new government and wholesale cuts I suspect that Licensing Authorities will be tightening their belts further and will not be investing in systems for licensing on line. So my advice to everyone is to stay with the paper applications, however tedious and unnecessary is most of the red tape attached. Better the devil you know.

Nigel Musgrove

Licensing law Specialist

Blog by Nigel Musgrove
Nigel has been providing dispute resolution advice as a solicitor for over 35 years. As well as advising SMEs and business owners on disputes he also offers a specialist licensing law service. View profile
Call Nigel on +44 (0)1285 847 001 or by email
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

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Thank you. Your response is great, very straight to the point! Hopefully this will bring an end to the matter. I will certainly be recommending your services as I am very impressed with the prompt dealing of this matter.
Janet Burbidge

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