Posted by Woods Whur | Licensing Law

As readers will no doubt be aware there has been constituted a House of Lords Committee which has been established to carryout scrutiny of the Licensing Act 2003. The Committee has published it’s call for evidence and invites all interested parties to submit written evidence by the 2nd of September 2016.

The call for evidence is available at :-

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/Licensing-Act-2003/call-for-evidence-licensing-act-2003.pdf

If you wish to respond to the call for evidence this can be achieved by clicking on the following link:-

http://www.parliament.uk/licensing-act-committee-written-submission-form

It is really important to play a role in this consultation.

I have regularly stressed to clients and operators the need to do so. We were hamstrung in some SEV renewals when Leeds City Council put out a consultation document before looking to change their policy and in effect reduce the number of Sexual Entertainment Venues from seven to four. When we challenged the decision making and policy in the High Court we were advised in clear terms through the judgment that we were seeking to close the stable door after the horse had bolted. The High Court was very clear in saying that we should have challenged the legitimacy of the changes in policy much earlier than through the High Court after renewals were refused.

This is a significant lesson and operators and interested parties should not complain about any changes if they do not get involved in consultations when invited to do so.

The key issues to be analysed in the consultation fall under the following headings.

  1. Licensing objectives.
  2. The balance between rights and responsibilities.
  3. Licensing and local strategy.
  4. Crime, disorder and public safety.
  5. Licensing procedure.
  6. Sale of alcohol for consumption at home.
  7. Pricing.
  8. Fees and costs associated with the Licensing Act 2003.
  9. International comparisons.

The parameter of each of those headings is very clearly established in the documents contained in the links above. We will continue to monitor the progress of the House of Lords Committee and publish any findings as and when they become public.

I can only stress again that this is an opportunity to interact in the process and interested parties should not be afraid to do so.