As you may be already aware, the Home Office has opened a public consultation on-premises licence fees under the Licensing Act 2003.
The aim of the consultation is to look at moving to locally set premises licence fees. This is because centrally set fees have left some local authorities unable to recover sufficient costs to carry out their duties properly.
In addition to licensing authorities, the Home Office is eager to hear from premises licence fee payers, including pubs, clubs, supermarkets, shops and anyone issuing Temporary Event Notices.
Why it is important premises licence owners have their say
It is important you have your say as the consultation covers a number of areas that could have a significant impact on your business including the future of the current variable fee “bands” based on the rateable value of the premises.
Whether local licensing authorities should have the discretion to vary fees depending on whether or not premises are:
- authorised to provide licensable activities until a late terminal hour and/or
- used exclusively or primarily for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises,
The proposed cap levels that will apply to each fee category, whether there should be a single annual fee date and the transition process to locally set fees.
The risk of premises licence fee hikes
There is some concern that these proposals could leave some pubs in a much worse financial situation. This could happen if councils are allowed to demand the maximum premises licence fee at the proposed cap of £740.00. A typical pub at the moment would pay £180.00.
To have your say and influence what will happen, visit the Government website before 10 April 2014.
If you would like advice on premises licence fees or any other aspect of licensing, please contact our Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing team on 01332 340 211.