David Lucas

Partner

Licensing


Licensing Update

David Lucas

There are some changes on the horizon that will affect licensed premises.

 

The Live Music Act 2012 will come into force on 1st October 2012.

 

From 31st October 2012 further provisions of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 come into force which will introduce Early Morning Restriction Orders and Late Night Levy’s.

 

Early Morning Restriction Orders

 

An Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order (EMRO) is a discretionary power that will enable licensing authorities to restrict sales of alcohol in the whole or a part of their areas for any specified period between 12 midnight and 6 am, if they consider this appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.

 

It is unlikely that any EMRO’s will come into force until at least March 2013.

 

Regulations and guidance are expected to be published shortly before 31st October.

 

The provisions relating to EMRO’s can be summarised as follows:-

 

  • Applies to Premises Licences, Club Premises Certificates and Temporary Event Notices

 

  • Prohibits the sale and supply of alcohol during a specified period

 

  • The period may be between midnight and 6.00am

 

  • Any proposed Order must be advertised

 

  • A hearing must be held to consider any relevant representations

 

  • The Order must be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives

 

  • May apply to the whole or part of the Licensing Authority’s area

 

  • May apply every day or on particular days

 

  • May apply at specified periods of the day

 

  • May be for limited or unlimited period

 

  • May be varied or revoked

 

  • Will not apply on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day

  • Does not restrict the hours during which regulated entertainment or late night refreshment can be provided.

  • If other activities are provided other than the sale or supply of alcohol, the premises does not have to close.

The only exception that will apply to an EMRO is where the supply of alcohol is provided by way of a mini bar or room service in premises with overnight accommodation.

 

Late Night Levy

 

The late night levy will enable licensing authorities to raise a contribution from late-opening alcohol suppliers towards policing the night-time economy. It will be a local power that licensing authorities can choose whether or not to exercise. It must cover the whole of the licensing authority’s area. However, the licensing authority will also choose the period during which the levy applies, between midnight and 6am, and decide what exemptions and reductions may apply from options specified in regulations.

 

Regulations and guidance are expected to be published shortly before 31st October.

 

The amount of the levy will be calculated by reference to the Non-Domestic Rateable Value and could range from £299 to £4479.

 

If the late night levy is introduced by the Licensing Authority:-

 

  • It will only apply to Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates which authorise the supply of alcohol during the supply period on one or more days

 

  • It will specify the time between midnight and 6.00am when the levy will apply

In deciding whether to apply the levy the Licensing Authority must consider:-

 

  • The costs of policing and other arrangements for reduction or prevention of crime and disorder relating to the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6.00am, and

 

  • Having regard to those costs, the desirability of raising revenue to be applied as prescribed

 

  • A Licensing Authority may deduct relevant administration expenses
  • Not less than 70% of the net levy must be paid to the Police
  • The remainder must be applied by Licensing Authority in accordance with regulations.
    • Regulations prescribe procedure for the introduction or variation of a levy

 

  • A Licensing Authority must carry out a consultation before introducing or amending a levy

 

  • A Licensing Authority must publish notice of decision to introduce or amend a levy

 

  • Relevant late night authorisations may be varied free of charge 

 

  • Regulations may prescribe permitted exemptions

 

  • Regulations may prescribe permitted reductions

 

  • Any levy arrears may be recovered as a civil debt

 

  • Failure to pay levy may result in suspension of licence or certificate

 

Live Music Act 2012

 

The Live Music Act will come into force on 1st October 2012. 

 

Live music will cease to be regulated entertainment in venues licensed for the sale of

alcohol for consumption on the premises and where the following applies:-

 

  • the premises are open for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises

 

  • the live music is amplified and takes place in the presence of an audience of no more than 200 persons

 

  • the live music is provided between 8am and 11pm

In addition, the provision of amplified live music is not to be regarded as regulated entertainment at premises that are defined as a workplace and where the performance takes place in the presence of an audience of no more than 200 persons and between the hours of 8am and 11pm on the same day.

 

Unamplified live music that takes place between 8am and 11pm will not be regarded as regulated entertainment at any premises irrespective of the size of the audience

 

When live music is provided in accordance with any of these provisions, any condition relating to live music attached to the premises licence or club premises certificate relating to live music will be suspended.

 

On a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate a Licensing Authority can determine that conditions relating to live music will be reinstated between the hours of 8am and 11pm.

 

The Act also removes the requirement to license facilities for making music and facilities for dancing as forms of regulated entertainment.  This means that premises will be able to have musical instruments such as a piano available for use by the public and dance floors without the requirement to be licensed.

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