Welcome to our Christmas Licensing Update
This update is effectively our last before Christmas. We hope that you enjoy a prosperous but peaceful festive trade. This year, instead of dispatching Christmas cards we are making a charitable donation to two local charities we have been supporting of late Amy’s Retreat and Roundabout.
On the trade front, we are expecting to see the usual seasonal spike in enforcement activity, particularly in respect of sales to the under aged (and possibly drunks) – and operators should be alert to this. We are sure that staff are being reminded of due diligence systems and requirements in anticipation and the need for scrupulous adherence to Challenge 21/25 etc. and those due diligence measures in place.
A reminder – operators should be alert to the fact that both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Sunday this year, when permitted hours under a premises licence often tend to be more restrictive. It would be well worth your while double checking your permitted hours and whether you have any specific longer authorisation for either or both dates â€“ failing which consideration should be made to giving a Temporary Event Notice for these dates to enable longer trading. Read more here
The new rates effective April 2018 announced in the recent Budget. These are:
- The National Living Wage increasing to £7.83 (from £7.50) from April 2018.
- Recommendations implemented on NMW to £7.38 (£7.05) for 21-24 year olds; £5.90 (£5.60) for 18-20; £4.20 for 16 and 17 years; and apprenticeship rate to £3.70.
For other sector relevant Budget measures click below.Read more here
On 4 April 2017, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 published its post-legislative scrutiny report some 11 years after the Act came into force. A summary of the Committees conclusions and recommendations (over 70 in total) can be found in our previous article here.
The Government has now set out its response, which contains little in the way of appetite to overhaul certain aspects of the Act as suggested by the Select Committee.Read more here
The Bank of England has confirmed that the date at which the old paper 10 pound notes will cease to be legal tender is 1 March 2018.Read more here
The Met have announced their decision to withdraw the sometimes controversially viewed Form 696 and instead develop a new voluntary partnership approach for venues and promoters across London. The 696 form had been used by the Met since 2005 to assess events conducted under Temporary Event Notices and it is also a requirement on some licences. The perception held by some was that events associated with some specific communities and genres of music were disproportionately affected by this process.Read more here
A consultation survey, opened to gain views on options for The Devonshire Green/West Street area of Sheffield is to close on the 13 December 2017. A link to the Survey is found here, alongside a copy of the proposed Devonshire Green/West Street designated zoneâ€ the subject area of the survey.Read more here
Scotland Minimum Unit pricing start date
A commencement Order has been laid before the Scottish Parliament to enable the implementation of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 S1. This will amend the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the premises licences granted by that Act. As a result, from the 6 December 2017, Scottish Ministers will be able to specify by order, the minimum price per unit of alcohol and the relevant labelling conditions with which bottles and other containers of alcohol must be labelled.Read more here
Scotland All the fun of the fair!
A consultation has been launched by a MSP on removing travelling fairs from the licensing regime created by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 with a view to establishing a new licensing system for them. The outcome of the consultation will then inform a Membes Bill he intends to introduce in the Scottish Parliament in 2018. Details of the consultation including the consultation document can be found here. Read more here
1. Chambers and Partners 2018 – John Gaunt & Partners ‘top ranked’ accolade
Following from the publication last month of the Legal 500 national legal rankings, we have just seen the publication of the latest edition of the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. Four partners are particularly mentioned and we are again top-ranked for licensing outside London (which has a separate section).
2. Scotland JG&P review hearing
And if the Scottish consultation on removing travelling fairs from the licensing regime (mentioned above) was not exciting enough, building on our ongoing and increased activity in the field of licensing north of the border, on instructions from an existing client, we have been involved in a substantial Premises Licence Review in which the Police were seeking revocation of the relevant licence. We are pleased to say that revocation was not achieved and that the premises in question instead received a written warning and the imposition of licence conditions.
A happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all our readers and subscribers.
Our office will be closed from 12 noon on 22 December but will then be open for limited service from 8.45 am on 28 and 29 of December. The office will fully re-open on Tuesday, 2 January 2018. Throughout the festive period our 24 hour emergency helpline will be operational and available 0114 266 3400.