(Apologies for that @ in the title of this item. We suspect that we’d be censored on-line if we spelled the word in full…)
The borough council is seeking views on its current licensing policy – http://goo.gl/hAubSM. This is the policy that covers licensing in relation to premises which are used ‘for the sale or supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment, or to provide late night refreshment’. The council is also responsible for licensing s@x establishments, but its policy for this is a separate matter not covered by the current consultation.
The thing that strikes us is that though the policy refers more than once to ‘representations’ – ie objections by residents and others – it doesn’t say how residents and others will be made aware of a licence application. We’re certainly not an expert in this area, and it might be argued that rules for ‘publicising’ an application are set out in the Licensing Act. But since much of the policy reflects the Act, it would useful if the policy mirrored the legal requirements for publication too. Moreover, the policy could go further and state that the council is committed to publishing all applications on its website. (The Act is too old to recognise the internet as a major means of communication. It simply requires any application for a premises licence to be published in a local newspaper. Yet local newspapers are a shrinking breed.)
The Eye will be responding to the borough council with the above comments. If you’d like the policy to state how YOU will be told of future licence applications, you might like to do the same thing. Unhelpfully, the council doesn’t appear to have said how to submit responses (the link above is to the policy, but we can find no further information). We suggest that you e-mail your thoughts to: email@example.com