Posted: Wednesday, 8 January 2014 @ 09:54
A Happy New Year to you all!
What will 2014 mean to the licensed trade?
We may see an change to the Personal Licence as a result of the consultation late last year-see my blog of 23 October 2013. But my comments have been largely echoed by the trade. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water! I hope that the Personal Licence will continue, albeit in a more streamlined form, but we could see a more robust approach to the Designated Premises Supervisor. It is no secret that I have never liked the DPS, but I am resigned to the fact that it is unlikely to disappear, and could well be shackled with more specific and onerous duties.
The soap opera which is Late Night Levy and Early Morning Restriction Orders continues. The ability to introduce them following consultations came into force back on 31 October 2012. See my blogs of 31 October 2012 and 19 April 2013. There has been much debate, but the take up has been slow. With the Late Night Levy, Leeds City Council, Milton Keynes and Woking are examples of councils who have decided against introduction. But Cheltenham have approved the levy, which will come into force on 1 April 2014 for those premises licensed to sell alcohol between 00:01 and 06:00.
Blackpool has been struggling to introduce an Early Morning Restriction Order, against fierce opposition from those premises supporting the night time economy. That battle will no doubt rumble on throughout 2014. Kingston and Woking have rejected the EMRO, Norwich delayed consultation, and Harrow has cancelled consideration for the time being.
The campaign against sale of alcohol to the under-aged will continue. It is unlikely that the under-aged themselves will be targetted. So it is the trade who will bear the brunt of the onslaught. Never has it been more important to ensure that all staff are properly trained, undergo scheduled refresher training, and that records are kept. Premises Licences and livelihoods are at stake.
So no matter what the challenges ahead I hope you all rise to them and have a very happy and prosperous 2014!
Licensing Law Specialist
Tel: 0845 003 5639
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