The Licensing Committee for the City of London has launched a new code of good practice. They have announced the new code stating that it is aimed at helping licensed premises achieve “the very best of outcomes for patrons and themselves, as footfall continues to rise following the pandemic.” The document can be found at: https://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/city-pubs-bars-and-restaurants-offered-new-code-to-help-them-thrive/, and makes good and interesting reading.
This document has now been agreed by the City of London Corporations Licensing Committee, as they aim to boost the economy in the square mile, hoping that pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants will use it as a guide and flourish. This document aims to build on the City of London Corporations flagship (destination city) initiative which was launched in May 2022, aiming to transform the leisure offer to create a leading 7 days a week destination for UK and international visitors, workers and residents.
The aim of the good practice guide is to enable the square miles daytime and night time economy to grow, while ensuring that the potential impacts on residents, visitors, workers and emergency services are minimised. Chair of the City of London Corporations Licensing Committee, James Tumbridge said: “a night time economy is key to our recovery and we want to support premises that are enjoying increasing footfall and spend. Making people feel safe and welcome is all part of boosting our attractiveness as the place for work and leisure. Successful businesses are not successful by accident – they are well managed, comply with regulations, employ well-trained and dedicated staff, and offer a warm and safe welcome to customers.”
I have now had an opportunity to look at the new code of good practice, which echoes a similar approach taken by the City of London in 2013.
The aims of the code are set out in sections 3 and 4, and establishes a proactive approach to be taken by the regulatory authorities in City of London. This should give new operators, or operators wishing to change their style of operation, a clear steer on what they need to do to engage with the responsible authorities to reach their desired aims. It is certainly something we would consider carefully before lodging a new application or significant variation to an existing premises licence.
The City of London also operates a good practice accreditation scheme for licensed premises known as ‘Safety Thirst.’ This gives the operator the ability to benchmark themselves against the City of London’s expectations, to see whether they can reach accreditation level, to be commended or highly commended. Again, this is a very helpful tool for operators who want to reduce the risk of negative interaction with the regulators once they are trading.
Section 5 of the document gives guidance as to what the Authority expects to see as good practice for the general promotion of all four of the licensing objectives. This document is a good pro forma for assessing what you would expect to see from a responsible operator in their jurisdiction. I take the view that it is a good approach to have, as it gives a clear understanding of the approach to be taken by the Licensing Authority. If any operators would appreciate assistance or guidance in relation to the policy, or applications to be made in the City of London, we would always be delighted to assist.