Licensing

Local licensing applications
The Kingscliffe Society scans the weekly list of licence applications submitted to the council, and considers the possible impact the application could have on local residential life, especially with regard to anti-social behaviour.



Policy

Since consultation last year under the heading of ‘Rebalancing the Licensing Act’ (in which your Society participated) the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill has become an Act of Parliament (it received Royal Assent on 15 September 2011. Implementation date awaited). Part 2 of that new Act amends and supplements the Licensing Act 2003 with the intention of ‘rebalancing’ it in favour of local authorities, the police and local communities. (Other parts of the Act replace police authorities with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, with the aim of improving police accountability. It also sets out a new framework for regulating protests around parliament Square, with the police being given new powers to prevent encampments and the use of amplified noise equipment).

Our Council’s Head of Licensing has reported eleven licensing changes in the Act which include:

  • Licensing Authorities, such as Brighton & Hove Council, Primary Care Trusts and Local Health Boards becoming responsible authorities, able to make representations on applications.
  • The police being enabled to request a Late Night Levy for an area. Levy would be set according to rateable value of the premises, in the same way as licensing fees are. Police/Council would decide on when levy would apply between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. There may be certain exemptions. There would be full consultation on any such proposal and any levy would need to be a balancing act between protecting residents from nuisance and crime and protecting the local economy in serious times.
  • Temporary Event Notices (TENs). Environmental Health section of Council will be able to object in addition to just the police, as at present. Objections can relate to any of the four licensing objectives and there is no longer an objection period.
  • There will be greater penalties for persistent sale of alcohol to children; the fine for such is increased from £10,000 to £20,000 and premises can be shut for 2-14 days.
  • Licensing Policy will now have a shelf life of 5 years instead of 3 years. (Brighton & Hove’s current Statement of Licensing Policy became operative in January 2011).