Licensing news

This page is designed to give those involved in the licensing trade and members of the public the latest updates on licensing legislation and best practice.

Changes to off sales permissions and pavement licences

On 25 June, The Government announced relaxations to planning and licensing laws to help the hospitality industry recover from the coronavirus lockdown. The Business and Planning Bill proposes to make it easier for premises serving food and drink such as bars, restaurants and pubs to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing.

The government have produced draft guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pavement-licences-draft-guidance/draft-guidance-pavement-licences-outdoor-seating-proposal

Automatic 'off sales' entitlement

Under the Licensing Act 2003, premises are licensed for the sale of alcohol for consumption either 'on' the premises, 'off' the premises or both. The measures included in this Bill modify provisions in the Licensing Act 2003 to provide automatic extensions to the terms of on-sales alcohol licences to allow for off-sales. This is a temporary measure to boost the economy, with provisions lasting until the end of September 2021.

These measures will make it possible for licensed premises that have only an on-sales licence to sell alcohol for consumption 'off' the premises without making an application or paying a fee. This will allow businesses to trade whilst keeping social distancing measures in place inside.

Premises which have had an application for an off-sales permission refused or had their off-sales permission excluded by variation or at review within the last three years, will be excluded from this licence extension. This is a safeguard to ensure that where it has recently been decided that the licensee should not have the permission, they do not receive it through this legislation.

The default hours in which off-sales will be permitted will be the same as those in which on sales are permitted. Any premises who wishing to open for longer hours must still apply for a licence variation.

The provisions will also apply temporary conditions to licences where there is a pre-existing permission for off-sales. The conditions will set the hours of off-sales to match those for on sales, allow off-sales of alcohol in open containers and allow deliveries of alcohol to residential or work buildings. Those conditions will suspend existing conditions that are more restrictive. So, for example, an existing condition that allowed off-sales only in closed containers would be suspended to allow sales in open containers.

If there were problems of crime and disorder, public nuisance, public safety or the protection of children arising from how the premises operated using the new permission, any responsible authority, including the police or environmental health, could apply for a new off-sales review. The off-sales review process is modelled on the existing summary review process. In the event that an off-sales review is triggered, it will only relate to off-sales authorised by virtue of these provisions, or conditions which have effect by virtue of these provisions: it cannot be used to revoke the existing licence or modify pre-existing licence conditions.

 

Pavement Licences

The Bill also introduces a new, temporary, fast-track process for these businesses to obtain permission, in the form of a "pavement licence", from Runnymede Borough Council for the placement of furniture such as tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises which will enable them to maximise their capacity whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Currently, tables and chairs permissions are granted as Pavement licences by Surrey County Council, the Highways Authority, under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980.  The fee varies between local authorities and there is a time consuming 28 day consultation period.

The measures included in The Bill supersede the existing framework but do not impact licences already issued under that Act.

The new temporary measure places a cap on the application fee for businesses, and introduces a new 14-day determination period, ensuring that businesses can obtain licences in a timely and cost effective (for the business) manner aiding to their financial recovery. The cost of the permission is capped at £100. The temporary permissions will last until 30 September 2021. There are enforcement powers contained in the Bill to enable the Authority to attach conditions, and revoke licences for breaches of conditions, or if the highway is no longer suitable for this use.

 

COVID-19 - New business guidance to support latest lockdown relaxations in England Published Date: 24/06/2020

Guidance has been provided for different categories of premises in England ahead of the latest lockdown relaxations announced by the PM yesterday, which will see the re-opening of many businesses including pubs, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, hairdressers and barbershops.

Further guidance has been provided for 'close contact' services, aimed at hairdressers and barbershops opening from 4th July and to assist other businesses which will remain closed until further notice, to prepare for reopening.

New Guidance for Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services

The guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services has been updated (23 June) to expand guidance on takeaways to venues providing service at the venue ahead of planned opening, reflect guidance on support bubbles, social distancing, test and trace and feedback from industry

This guidance applies to any food preparation or service setting where food and drink is sold for consumption at venues or for takeaway or delivery. For example, restaurants, pubs, bars, beer gardens, food to go, cafes, social and similar clubs operating as bars and restaurants, mobile catering and contract catering or similar environments where food and drink is purchased and consumed at a venue in their indoor or outdoor areas or offered for takeaway or delivery.

This guidance also considers entertainment in restaurants, pubs and bars and similar venues where food or drink is served, provided they meet current government criteria for safe reopening.

It does not apply to food preparation or food service in clinical or healthcare settings.

The visitor economy

The visitor economy guidance is for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.

Close contact services

The close contact services guidance applies to hairdressers and barbershops which can re-open from 4 July 2020, but is also intended to assist other close contact services (which must remain closed until further notice), to prepare for re-opening.

Close contact services include hairdressing, barbershops, beauty and nail bars, makeup, tattoo and spray tanning studios, spas, sports and massage therapy, well-being and holistic locations, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

This guidance is also designed for those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people's homes, those in retail environments and the arts, as well as those studying hair and beauty in vocational training environments. Dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers were permitted to reopen in line with non-essential retail on 15 June 2020.

Hairdressers and barbershops will be permitted to reopen for services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head only from 4 July 2020. The other services outlined above will remain closed until further notice subject to the 5 tests but this guidance is intended to help them prepare for reopening.

Businesses remaining closed from 4 July

For the time being, certain businesses and venues will still be required by law to stay closed to the public. From 4 July, these closed businesses and venues will include:

  • nightclubs
  • casinos
  • bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
  • indoor play areas including soft-play
  • spas
  • nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
  • massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • swimming pools and water parks
  • exhibition or conference centres - where they are to be used for exhibitions or conferences

The guidance 'closing certain businesses and venues in England' is expected to be updated in due course.


Off sales

We have added a note on off-sales and compliance with the Coronavirus Restrictions to our website.

The information document and questions and answers has been developed by a cross sector group looking to reduce risk for licensed premises operating during the current pandemic and so ensure the safety of the public, premises staff and officers and provide clarity for all involved.

 


Counterfeit Currency

Pubwatch members have been losing money due to taking in counterfeit notes, please use the following links to update yourself and your staff.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/counterfeit-banknotes/how-to-check-your-banknotes

https://www.scotbanks.org.uk/banknotes.html


Pubwatch Meetings

There are two active pub watches in Runnymede; one covering Egham and the north of the borough, the other Addlestone and the south.

The date and venue of the next pubwatch meetings will be shown below once social distancing measures are relaxed sufficiently.

Egham and district -

Chertsey and Addlestone -

All premises are encouraged to attend, and although it is called 'pubwatch' it is open to clubs as well.

For a number of premises this is a condition of their licence so they must attend.

For premises licence holders and club certificate holders, attendance at pubwatch will help you keep up to date with licensing legislation and local crime concerns. This will assist you in protecting your customers and staff by helping to promote the licensing objectives, these are:

• The prevention of Crime and Disorder
• Public safety
• The prevention of public nuisance
• The protection of children from harm.

If you want to know more about pubwatch the national pubwatch website provides addition information http://www.nationalpubwatch.org.uk/


Lottery ticket vending machines

We are aware of several companies offering lottery ticket vending machines to pubs, stating they would earn a profit from the ticket sales. This is contrary to the Gambling Act 2005 and society lotteries guidance, which state that it is an offence to use lottery proceeds for a purpose other than the promoted cause, and they are not to be promoted for commercial gain.
The issue appears to be concentrated in the south east of England. Not only is this activity illegal but it also damages the charities who are the rightful beneficiaries of lottery schemes.

This quick guide explains what lottery ticket machines do.

http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/quick-guides/Comparing-lottery-ticket-dispensers-and-category-b3a-gaming-machines-quick-guide.pdf


Change to variation of DPS forms

From the 23 March 2018 the requirements on the variation DPS form will change.

The changes now protect the personal data of the proposed DPS. Previously it was practice to give the existing DPS the variation form, which contained all the details of the proposed DPS - this has often been a point of controversy.

From 23 March 2018 , taking into account the need to protect the data of  the proposed DPS. the requirement to give a copy of the application to the current DPS is being discontinued. It will be replaced by a requirement to give written notice only of the proposal to vary the licence to put in place a new DPS, no name has to be given, only the effective date.

You no longer have to send the existing DPS the variation application form. A notice, or letter, explaining a variation of DPS has been submitted and is to take effect from xxx date is sufficient.


Basic disclosure check changes

For those considering applying for a personal licence please note:

From 17 January 2018, for basic disclosure check for a personal licence in England and Wales, you should apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You will be able to use their new online application route at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-checks.


The Law - Statutory Notices

It is in everyone's interest to comply with licensing law and both the police and the council are finding there is a lack of knowledge about what your responsibilities are when it comes to displaying licences or club certificates and authorisation.

In particular both Displaying the premises licence summary or club certificate and Displaying your notice of Duty to Keep and Produce the Premises Licence or club certificate are requirements (under section 57 and 94 respectively) of the Licensing Act 2003 (the 'Act'). If you do not comply you may be prosecuted and the fine can be up to £500 for each.

By following the simple steps below you can save yourself time and worry, as well as the risk of a court appearance, so please spend a few moments to ensure you are complying with the law.

Displaying the premises licence summary or club certificate

The 'Act' states you must have all pages of the summary (or certified copy of it) prominently displayed. Best practice is to display it where it can be read easily by the public and police/council officers. It must be all pages of the summary, not just the front page, and it must be readable.

We would recommend framing each page and securing them to a wall to protect the summary from mishandling or theft.

Displaying your notice of duty to keep and produce the premises licence or club certificate

As well as displaying the premises licence or club certificate you must also keep the original or certified copy on the premises and display a notice stating who has control of these, i.e. who is looking after them and knows where they are.

The 'Act' states - You are required to have a notice prominently displayed stating who has custody or control of the actual premises licence or club certificate. The premises licence or club certificate (or certified copy of it) must be on the property and it must be produced on request. Do not confuse this with the above-mentioned summary, which will be one or two pages. The complete premises licence or club certificate licence can run to five or six pages depending on your conditions.

To help you comply with the law and display this notice a template has been produced for premisesIcon for pdf Duty to keep and produce licence [196.98KB] and for clubs Icon for pdf Duty to keep and produce certificate [236.99KB] but you can use your own of course.

Authorising alcohol sales

All premises selling or supplying alcohol (except for members clubs and certain community premises) must have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) who will be named on the premises licence. The DPS is responsible for authorising alcohol sales.

There are likely times when the DPS will not be on the premises when alcohol is being sold. For that reason we strongly suggest the DPS authorises, in writing, members of staff to sell alcohol in their absence. (note: if a personal licence holder is available at times when the DPS absent they would be able to authorise persons to sell alcohol, however to minimise the risk of unlawful sales best practice is to have a list of people authorised by the DPS.)

We have produced two forms you can complete:

One is for the DPS to complete and sign authorising named members of staff to sell or supply alcohol Icon for pdf DPS AUTHORISATION [21.46KB]

The other is for the named staff to sign, confirming they are aware of this and accept responsibility Icon for pdf Authorisation acceptance [28.91KB]

The DPS and members of staff should be aware of Icon for pdf Responsibilities of the DPS [96.65KB], details of the premises licence and the social and legal obligations and responsibilities relating to the sale of alcohol.


Entitlement to work in the United Kingdom; how Licensing Act 2003 amendments affect business owners and operators of licensed premises.

The Immigration Act 2016 came into force on 6 April 2017 and contains many notable sections affecting the Licensing Act 2003. Its general purpose is to make it more difficult to live and work illegally in the United Kingdom. Please read the attached information.Icon for pdf Entitlement to work in the UK [99.06KB]

Online right-to-work checking service

If you are applying for a personal licence, premises licence or to transfer a premises licence you must show you have a right to work in the UK.

As part of its effort to support those who conduct right to work checks, including employers and licensing authorities, the Home Office developed the online right-to-work checking service, which makes checks simpler and more secure.

The service enables UK employers and licensing authorities to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card, or who holds online immigration status issued under the EU settlement scheme, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions.

It does this by linking to Home Office data. 

The system works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office right-to-work record.

They may then share this with an employer or licensing authority if they wish, by providing the 'share code' issued to them by the online service.

By entering the code and the applicant's date of birth, the employer or licensing authority will be able to access the individual's current right-to-work details. This includes the date of expiry, if the individual's right to work is time-limited, and any work-related conditions. https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work


Current licensing applications


Guidance on gambling on licensed premises