Published on 12 July 2005
Archived on 12 August 2005
Stratford-on-Avon District Council began the process of operating the Licensing Act on 7 February 2004, after the New Liquor Licensing Committee and Officers went through months of intense training to deal with the new act and it's affect on the Council.
Thanks to a team of Licensing Officers, Stratford-on-Avon District Council has become a leading authority on the new act. The panel and officers have been commended by a barrister who was impressed by their efficiency in the four hearings to date.
"The Council is currently working on the transition from the Magistrates to the Council of all Licensed Premises," said Cllr Mike Brain, Chairman of the Licensing Committee. "A dedicated team of officers, who have been receiving endless enquiries under difficult circumstances, are undertaking this change. Local Government bodies are referring local Authorities to them for advice on good practise, and large companies are complimenting the officers on their approach, information and help that they providing to the trade.
"As Chairman of the Stratford-upon-Avon District Council Licensing Committee, I am immensely proud and honoured to be the Chairman of such a dedicated team of Licensing Officers and Members, who have brought nothing but accolade to this authority. This team and myself will continue to operate professionally with fairness to all applicants and residents, whilst upholding and operating the four Licensing objectives and policies. "In the meantime, if you are an applicant or a resident with concerns in respect of the new act please don't hesitate to contact myself or any member of the Licensing team who will be pleased to assist you."
There were several changes to licensing laws in the act, the first being the transfer of licensing from the responsibility of the Magistrates Court to local authorities. As a result, Stratford-on-Avon District will be the relevant licensing body for any licensed premises in the District.
Along with most people in the licensing trade, the Government recognised the need for a change in the licensing law, as it did not meet the requirements of modern day licensing activities. Therefore, they passed the Licensing Act 2003, and set 7th February 2005 as the first day of the transition period. The end of this period has been set at 24th November 2005. Your local authority will be required to make decisions using a 'Licensing Policy' and taking into account four 'Licensing Objectives'. These objectives are: Prevention of Crime and Disorder; Public Safety; Prevention of public nuisance; Protection of children from harm. Licensing hearings will only be held where relevant representations are made. If there are no representations or police observations, the application must be granted exactly as it was made. The Licensing Authority has no discretion in these circumstances.
An 'Interested Party' includes: Any person living within the vicinity of the premises and/or any body representing such persons; Any person involved in a business vicinity and/or a body representing such persons; Only 'relevant representations' count.
To be relevant, they must identify a licensing objective Even if relevant, they can still be declared frivolous or vexatious (or repetitious in the case of a review) All applications must be clearly displayed on the premises and published in the local newspaper. District Council Members (District Councillors) will make up the Licensing Committee and will form licensing panels to determine application. They will act as a Quasi-Judicial body.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575