JG & Partners, August Latest Licensing Changes
Welcome to our August Update
The Purple Guide provides useful advice when running events for the public and has been recently refreshed and updated. Produced on a non-Profit basis by the Events Industry Forum (EIF) it is of particular use to those putting on Music events, but also offers guidance in other event areas.
Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser has recently issued the Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Blueprint focusing on the night time economy period between the hours of 6pm and 6am. The report looks at “a series of priorities, recommendations and suggestions for the next 12 months on how we can diversify, strengthen and grow our Night Time Economy, ensuring it is accessible for all our residents and visitors.” It considers Greater Manchester’s culture and leisure offer as well as other matters such as safety, transport and careers amongst others.
On 17 July 2019 at a full Council Assembly, Southwark Councillors unanimously approved the introduction of a Levy in respect of licensed premises in the Borough. The Levy will come into force on 1st September 2019 with annual charges ranging from £229 to £1,365 dependent on rateable value and will apply to businesses selling alcohol between midnight and 6am.
In July 2018, the Government commissioned Frank Field MP, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss to undertake an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Act, which is claimed by the Home Office to have been the first of its kind in the world, gave new powers and tools to law enforcement agencies to disrupt perpetrators. The number of police operations has risen from under 200 in 2016 to over 1,400 in June 2019. The review considered the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, transparency in supply chains, Independent Child Trafficking Advocates and legal application of the Modern Slavery Act. The Government has now published their response and accepted the majority of recommendations made by the Independent Review.
Milton Keynes has recently given a number of timely reminders to Private Hire Drivers regarding plying for trade and the Equality Act 2010. Following the completion of criminal prosecutions Milton Keynes advertised the scale of potential penalties for plying for trade. Private Hire Drivers (PHD) may only accept work which is pre-booked.
We have previously reported on the consultation undertaken by the Scottish Government on occasional licences which has recently closed – see our article Scotland Consultation on Occasional Licences Responses from health boards across Scotland have recommended that no event which is marketed towards children or families be granted a licence.
Edinburgh City Council launched a public consultation regarding Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) in the city and how they will be regulated in the future. This follows the Scottish Government introducing legislation which allows Councils to license SEVs, which is similar to legislation introduced several years ago in England & Wales. The Edinburgh consultation will run until 17 August 2019.
In March 2018, GambleAware commissioned two independent consortia to assess the extent, nature and impact of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable groups in the UK. On 9 July 2019 they published an interim report produced by Ipsos MORI, that examines the frequency and format of gambling advertising and marketing and the exposure among children, young people and vulnerable adults.
On 16 July 2019 the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DDCMS) launched a consultation regarding the minimum age for playing the National Lottery ahead of the competition to run the 4th National Lottery licence. Since the award of the third National Lottery licence in 2009, there have been changes to the gaming landscape. Technological changes and the general growth in online gaming coupled with mobile platforms (apps) has changed the way the public interact with the National Lottery. In addition, certain sectors of the National Lottery offer such as instant win games (e.g. scratch cards) now make up an increased proportion of total National Lottery sales. This has prompted the DDCMS to ask the question whether the availability of all National Lottery games to those under 18 remains appropriate.
We recently reported the formation of a new House of Lords Committee to report on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry. The Committee has to report on its findings by 31 March 2020. The Committee has now published their call for evidence. The deadline for submission is Friday 6 September 2019.
This initial call for evidence consists of 19 questions including:
- Should gambling operators have a legal duty of care to their customers?
- Is the money raised by the levy adequate to meet the current needs for research, education and treatment? How effective is the voluntary levy? Would a mandatory levy or other alternative arrangement be more productive and effective? How should income raised by a levy be spent, and how should the outcome be monitored? What might be learned from international comparisons?
- The restrictions on society lotteries were relaxed by the Gambling Act 2005, and there is concern that some of them are effectively being taken over by larger commercial lotteries. Is this concern well founded? If so, what should be done?
Each of these questions could have significant impact upon the Gambling Industry.
City of York Council has included a Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) within its Licensing Policy since 2005. Following statutory changes to CIAs last year the Council reviewed its policy further and recently introduced a new ‘red zone’ area, which shows the highest density of negative ‘occurrences’. On behalf of our client, we attended the first licensing application to be heard by the Council’s licensing sub-committee for a premises located in the ‘red zone’. The application was a variation seeking two extra trading hours on Fridays and Saturdays. We are pleased to confirm that the application was granted following productive discussions with the Police during the consultation period and pursuant to conditions being imposed as part of the determination.