January 2017 licensing update

By | January 12, 2017

JG & Partners

Welcome to our January 2017 licensing update

Welcome to our slightly delayed first monthly update of 2017 – and a very happy New Year. Hopefully, the delay will cut down on the number of ‘out of offices’ we would otherwise have received!

Not a matter for this newsletter, but something on which we will be majoring on in the next month, are child exploitation issues for the hospitality industry (and the hotel sector in particular) and where we are seeing increasing Authority concerns in this area and indeed examples of ‘test purchasing’. A fuller brief will be issued shortly. It is an area which should be of concern to all operators (a sad reflection of the times in which we live). If you would like to register to receive a copy of that brief, please email us.

On to the news, as posted to our website in the past month.

Health Survey for England 2015 – report published 

The Health Survey for England series is designed to monitor trends in the nation’s health; estimating the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions and the prevalence of risk factors and behaviours associated with these conditions. This covers alcohol consumption among adults and children.

Read more here

HoL Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003: the Health objective and Scotland 

At the suggestion of the Clerk to the Committee, we have filed some additional written evidence to the Committee on our experiences of the health objective, and how it works, in Scotland. In case of interest, it can be found here:

‘Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003: the Health Objective and Scotland’.

Soft Drinks Industry ‘Sugar’ Levy – policy paper published 

The Government has just issued a policy paper on this ‘sugar’ levy. This confirms (in part) that the levy will affect all UK producers of soft drinks, importers of soft drinks, retailers of soft drinks and consumers who buy soft drinks in the UK. Alcoholic drinks with an alcohol by volume of up to 1.2% are included in the levy.

Read more here

‘Recognising the terrorist threat’ 

Although this item was posted in anticipation of the festive season and reflecting on international terrorist outrages, the warnings still are unfortunately relevant. Government guidance on planning for a possibility of a terrorist incident and what action to take in the event of such an attack has recently been updated and can be found here: ‘Guidance: Recognising the terrorist threat’

Read more here

Court of Appeal rules against tobacco companies’ appeal on plain packaging 

The Court of Appeal ruled on 30 November 2016, rejecting several tobacco companies’ appeal against the introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products. This follows a ruling in May which determined that the law was valid and lawful in all respects.

Read more here

Rotherham Council to be ‘handed back licensing powers’ 

It is being reported that Rotherham Council will be given back control of taxi services, although commissioners will oversee licensing decisions until 31 March 2019.

Read more here

Licensing Practitioners Award – 9 February 2017 

On 9 February 2017 the Award for Licensing Practitioners (Alcohol) Course will be delivered at our offices in Sheffield. When delivered by us in the past it was found to be highly beneficial to Police Licensing Officers, Licensing Authority Officers, Environmental Health Officers. It was also considered to be an insightful course for those involved at a senior level in the management of the hospitality industry.  Course places are limited to 12 so as to ensure that all candidates achieve the maximum from the day and to provide sufficient time for discussion. Should you wish to reserve a place, please email lmateer@john-gaunt.co.uk.

Read more here

Best Bar None Sheffield 2017 

John Gaunt & Partners are again proud sponsors of the Sheffield BBN awards – with the presentation awards ceremony held at Sheffield City Hall on 9 February 2017.

PPL new tariff – small hotels and guesthouses 

UK music licensing company, PPL, has announced a revised tariff for Small Residential Hotels and Guesthouses. The changes came into effect on 1 January 2017 and are the product of a consultation that was launched earlier in the year with licensees and trade bodies to discuss a revised tariff to cover playing background music in public areas and the supply of music to guest bedrooms.

Read more here

Liverpool City Council – Late Night Levy – update 

This Levy will commence from 1 April 2017. The Licensing Authority has confirmed that there will be an opportunity to make application for a Minor Variation in respect of which the application fee will not apply. The window for such applications to be lodged is between 31 January 2017 and 1 April 2017.

Read more here

Gambling – Proposals for Commission fees from April 2017 

Following a joint consultation carried out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Gambling Commission, the Commission now published the responses to this consultation. These are detailed within the responses document: Proposals for Gambling Commission fees from April 2017 – consultation response. There will be fee reductions for around 1,900 operators while fees will be held at their current levels for around 1,000 operators, and around 75 operators will be subject to an increase in fees. The fees structure that will take effect from April 2017.

Read more here

Gambling – 10 year club gaming permits, club machine permits and family entertainment centre permits due for renewal

The Commission is now reminding that 10 year club gaming permits, club machine permits and family entertainment centre permits issued under the Gambling Act 2005 will come up for renewal this year and that operators affected will  need to apply for new permits from their licensing authority.

Further detail (including details of how to renew) can be found here: Gambling Commission: Club gaming and machine permits

Read more here

Gambling – Young People and Gambling Report released 

The Gambling Commission’s Young People and Gambling Report – a newly released report – indicates that 450,000 children are gambling in England and Wales every week and also is said to show that around 9,000 of these are likely to be problem gamblers.   The findings indicate that ‘the overall rate of gambling among 11-15 year olds is around 16%. This figure compares to 5% of 11-15 year olds who have smoked and 8% who have drunk alcohol in the last week, while 6% have taken drugs in the last month’.

Read more here

Gambling – Commission facts and figures guide updated 

The Gambling Commission has updated their facts and figures guide to include the latest industry statistics and the Young People and Gambling Report 2016.

Read more here

And Finally…


We are pleased to announce that we are strengthening our already market leading team of solicitors. Paul Henocq joins us having spent 11 years at Cartwright King.

He brings to our Licensing Team his proactive, personable approach and is a proven advocate. At his previous firm Paul was a key member of a Regulatory Law Team which focused on defending businesses and people from regulatory investigations and prosecutions by organisations like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency, Local Authorities’ Trading Standards and Environmental Health departments and many more.

He also enjoys a specialist interest in Road Traffic Law and was recognised as a key contact in the Nationally (Outside London) for this field in Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2016.


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