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Licensing Act 2003 policy

B. Policy Statements: Part six

29. Interim Authority

29.1 Generally, a Premises Licence will remain in force for as long as the premises licence holder continues to operate the business, unless it is specified it has effect for a limited period and that period expires or the licence is revoked.

29.2 If a licence holder dies, becomes bankrupt or mentally incapable then the licence will lapse However, if within a twenty-eight day period of such circumstances (beginning with the day after the licence lapsed) a person who had an interest in the premises or who is connected to the former holder of the licence, gives the Licensing Authority an 'Interim Authority Notice', the premises licence will be reinstated for a period of two months.

29.3 A person is deemed to be connected to the former holder of a Premises Licence, if:

  • The person is the personal representative in the event of the holders death;
  • In respect of someone who has become mentally incapable is acting under Section 6 of the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985; or
  • In the event of insolvency/bankruptcy is acting as an Insolvency Practitioner
  • Any other person prescribed by regulation; 29.4 Interim Authority Notices must also be served on the Police within the twenty-eight day period of being served on the authority. Where required, the Police may raise an objection to the notice under the 'prevention of crime and disorder' objective. The Licensing Authority will then hold a hearing to consider the objection.

29.5 The Licensing Authority recognises the need to consider any objections in these circumstances quickly.

30. Integration Strategies and Avoiding Duplication

30.1 There are many stakeholders in the leisure industry, covering a wide range of disciplines. Many are involved, directly or indirectly, in the promotion of the licensing objectives, particularly those relating to the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance.

30.2 Many of their strategies deal in part with the licensing function, and the licensing authority will establish appropriate liaison arrangements to ensure proper integration of local crime prevention, planning, transport, tourism, race equality schemes and cultural strategies.

30.3 The licensing authority will liaise with the police regarding the need for the swift and safe dispersal of people from the town centre to avoid concentrations that can produce disorder and disturbance.

30.4 The licensing authority recognises that there should be a clear separation of the planning and licensing regimes and licensing applications should not be a re-run of the planning application.

30.5 An application for a premises licence or club premises certificate will normally only be considered after the necessary planning permission has been granted.

30.6 The licensing authority recognises the need to avoid so far as possible duplication with other regulatory regimes.

30.7 However, some regulations do not cover the unique circumstances of some entertainment and the licensing authority will consider attaching conditions to premises licences and club premises certificates where these are necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives and are not already provided for in any other legislation.

31. Human Rights

31.1 Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for a local authority to act in a way which is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention").

31.2 The licensing authority shall ensure that they will act in accordance with the Convention when determining any application pursuant to the Act. In particular they shall have regard to the following:-

  • Article 6 - that in the determination of civil rights and obligations everyone is entitled to a fair public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law;
  • Article 8 - that everyone has the right to respect for his home and family life;
  • Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention - that every person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his or her possessions.

32. Equality Act 2010

32.1 The licensing authority reminds applicants that they must be clear of their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

33. Enforcement

33.1 Once licensed, it is essential that premises are maintained and operated so as to ensure the continued promotion of the licensing objectives and compliance with the specific requirements of the 2003 Act and the licensing authority will make arrangements to monitor premises and take appropriate enforcement action to ensure this.

33.2 Local Authority Officers are tasked to ensure compliance with the legislation and regulations. Monitoring of licensed premises will be undertaken to ensure compliance which will include test purchasing schemes and surveillance operations. Licensing Officers work closely with the Police, Trading Standards and other organisations and in addition help to implement any initiatives supported by the Government

33.3 The licensing authority will work closely with the appropriate agencies to establish and maintain to ensure an efficient deployment of police/ fire and rescue and licensing authority officers engaged in enforcing licensing law and inspecting licensed premises, in order to ensure that resources are targeted at problem and high-risk premises.

33.4 All enforcement activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Council's Enforcement and Prosecution Policies.

34. Licence Reviews

34.1 At any stage following the grant of a premises licence, a responsible authority, such as the Police or Fire Authority, or another person, such as a resident living in the vicinity of the premises, may ask the licensing authority to review the licence. This must be due to a matter arising at the premises in connection with any of the four licensing objectives. In addition, a review of the licence will follow any action by the police to close down the premises for up to 24 hours.

34.2 In every case the representation must relate to particular premises for which a premises licence is in existence and must be relevant to the promotion of the licensing objectives. Representations must be in writing and may be amplified at the subsequent hearing or may stand in their own right. Additional representations which do not amount to an amplification of the original representation may not be made at the hearing.

34.3 Where the request originates with either a responsible authority or another person the licensing authority may reject any ground for review if such a ground is not relevant to one or more of the licensing objectives. Where the request originates from another person the licensing authority may reject any grounds for review if the licensing authority considers such ground to be frivolous, vexatious or repetitious.

34.4 Following receipt of a review from a responsible authority or an interested party or in accordance with the closure procedures described in Part 8 of the 2003 Act, the licensing authority shall arrange a hearing. The arrangements for the hearing shall follow the provisions to be set out by the Secretary of State in the regulations.

Summary Reviews

34.5 Section 21 of The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 has amended the Licensing Act 2003 to make provision for the Police to instigate a summary review of a premises licence in serious cases of crime and disorder. The 2006 Act requires that the premises must be licensed for the sale of alcohol and that a senior member of the Police force (i.e. of or above the rank of Superintendent) must give a certificate stating that it is his opinion that the premises are associated with serious crime or serious disorder or both.

34.6 On receipt of an application from the Police for a summary review of the premises licence the Licensing Authority must: i. within 48 hours of the time of receipt, consider whether it is necessary to take interim steps pending the determination of a review of the premises licence; and ii within 28 days after the day of its receipt, Review that licence

34.7 In calculating the 48 hours any time that is not on a working day is to be disregarded. The Licensing Authority must give notice to the Premises Licence holder and each Responsible Authority. Notices must be displayed at the premises for 7 consecutive days starting with the day after the licensing authority received the application

The Interim Steps Pending Review

34.8 The interim steps that the licensing authority must consider taking are as follows:

a. The modification of the conditions of the premises licence i.e. the alteration, omission or addition of or to the conditions;

b. The exclusion of the sale of alcohol by retail from the scope of the licence;

c. The removal of the Designated Premises Supervisor

d. The suspension of the licence

34.9 Where the licensing authority takes one or more of the steps above that decision takes effect immediately or as soon after as the licensing authority directs. Notice must be given immediately to the Premises Licence holder and Chief Officer of Police.

34.10 The Premises Licence holder may make representations about the interim steps and should this occur a hearing must be held within 48 hours of receipt to consider those representations. Once again, the 48 hours are determined by working days only.

34.11 Advance notice of the hearing must be given to the Premises Licence holder and Chief Officer of Police. 34.12 At the hearing the licensing authority must have regard to the certificate from the Police that accompanied the application' any representations by the Police and the representations of the Premises Licence holder

34.13 The subsequent full review hearing is to be conducted in accordance with the Review provisions specified in Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003 i.e. no later than 28 days after the receipt of the certificate from the Police

35. Administration, Exercise and Delegation of Functions

35.1 The licensing authority will be involved in a wide range of licensing decisions and functions and has established a Licensing Committee to administer them.

35.2 Appreciating the need to provide a speedy, efficient and cost-effective service to all parties involved in the licensing process, the delegation of decisions and functions will be as set out in the table on the following page.

35.3 With many of the decisions and functions being purely administrative in nature, the grant of non contentious applications, including for example, those licences and certificates where no representations have been made, has been delegated to licensing authority officers.

35.4 This form of delegations is without prejudice to officers referring an application to the Licensing Committee, if it is considered appropriate in the circumstances of any particular case.

35.5 Decisions in respect of individual applications will be made by a properly appointed licensing sub committee.

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