As many of you will know already the Government is committed to the idea that the requirement to renew Personal Licences after ten years should be abolished. The first Personal Licences will come up for renewal in 2015.
The Government had consulted on measures to abolish the whole Personal Licensing regime but following widespread opposition decided to abandon that proposal.
The first Personal Licences will need renewing from early 2015, people can apply for renewal up to three months beforehand. In practice, most of the Personal Licences that were issued in 2005 at the time of licensing change came into force towards the back end of the year. Individual Personal Licence Holders will need to check their Personal Licences for the exact date of expiry.
Despite the Government’s commitment to the abolition of the requirement to renew the Licence the legislation has yet to be introduced.
The appropriate measures to deal with the abolition are being inserted in the Deregulation Bill, however, the timetable for that has slipped meaning that timescales are now very tight.
A lot of people already think, because of the widespread publicity, that the requirement to renew has already been abolished, this is most definitely not the case. If for any reason the measure is not introduced and the requirement to renew remains then widespread disruption can be envisaged because of a failure by people to appreciate that they need to renew their Personal licences which could, certainly in the case of those who are Designated Premises Supervisors lead to premises becoming closed if the Licence is not renewed. The procedural mechanisms for renewal are not straightforward.
Whilst on the subject of Personal Licences if you are reading this article please remember to make sure that your address on your Personal Licence is up to date if it isn’t you must change it with the Licensing Authority who issued your Personal Licence. Remember if you are doing this also to change your address details on your Premises Licence if you are the Designated Premises Supervisor. Finally, if you are charged with a relevant offence you must disclose the existence of your Personal Licence to the Court when you appear for the first time.
Should you have any queries concerning Personal Licensing please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Cochrane on 01332 226142.