September Licensing Update
The Local Government Association has now issued a useful handbook designed for Councillors dealing with applications under the Licensing Act 2003. The handbook includes helpful sections on conducting hearings, the roles of responsible authorities and the conduct of those members of the Committee.
Brent Council are currently consulting on the introduction of a new statement of licensing policy. The consultation will run until 4th October 2019. The draft includes policies for the introduction of 10 cumulative impact zones where street drinking and alcohol related crime exist to prevent growth of more off-licences. In addition, following the Mayor of London’s vision for London as a 24-hour City the draft Policy supports a 24-hour night time economy in Wembley (designated by the Mayor as a night time economy area of international or national significance) and Kilburn in order to facilitate an enhancement of leisure and entertainment functions and the night time economy, with appropriate safeguards. Both Wembley and Kilburn are defined as major town centres within the draft Policy.
National Trading Standards have published data relating to test purchase operations carried out between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019 concerning the sale of knives to children (under 18s). It is illegal to sell knives to children save for those with a folding blade 3 inches long or less. On 334 occasions out of 2,231 tests carried out by Trading Standards in England and Wales during this period, retailers failed to prevent the sale of a knife to a child (approximately 15% of the time).
The Government are also consulting on draft guidance regarding the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. This Act, when brought into law (anticipated to be in 2020) will create a number of new offences and measures to address issues surrounding the sale and delivery of knives to children and also measures concerning corrosive products and substances (acids). The consultation on the draft guidance will run until 9th October 2019.
Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser has recently issued the Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Blueprint focusing on the night time economy period between the hours of 6pm and 6am. The report looks at “a series of priorities, recommendations and suggestions for the next 12 months on how we can diversify, strengthen and grow our Night Time Economy, ensuring it is accessible for all our residents and visitors.” It considers Greater Manchester’s culture and leisure offer as well as other matters such as safety, transport and careers amongst others.
A copy of the report can be found here
Between February and May this year the Gambling Commission conducted a call for evidence on gambling with Credit Cards. This exercise was promulgated from the advice by the former Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (now Advisory Board for Safer Gambling) that gambling with borrowed money is a well-established risk factor for harmful gambling because it significantly increases the risk that consumers will gamble with more money than they can afford. The Commission wish to explore the consequences of restricting or prohibiting the use of credit cards. Having considered the responses to the earlier call for evidence, the Commission have now opened a consultation running to 6th November 2019.