John Gaunt & Partners March Licensing News – the referendum edition!

By | March 8, 2016

JG & Partners

John Gaunt & Partners March Licensing News – the referendum edition!

This will, we anticipate, be the first and last time we mention the referendum in these updates (at least until it is over) but we do anticipate that non-referendum news will be eclipsed until it has been held and the result is known.
Gambling – unusually our sector featured in the lead Leading Article in the Times on 17 February under the title ‘Betting Burden’ devoted to the ‘issue’ of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). For those interested the leader can be found here. It attracted some comment.
On to the news as posted to our website over the past month…

Policing and Crime Bill – have your say!

Posted: 08 Mar 2016 09:00 AM PST

Last month we reported on the introduction of the Policing and Crime Bill. The Bill has now passed its second reading without a division and unsurprisingly without comment being passed on the licensing elements. This means the next stage is for MPs to consider the Bill in Public Bill Committee, which is expected to hold oral evidence sessions on Tuesday 15 March 2016. Those inclined to do so c…

Employers Vicarious Liability – “Close Connection” Test

Posted: 07 Mar 2016 06:00 AM PST

On 2 March 2016 the Supreme Court published their judgement in the case of Mr A M Mohamud (in substitution for Mr A Mohamud (deceased)) (Appellant) v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc (Respondent). This case concerned the actions of a Morrison’s employee working as petrol station kiosk attendant for the supermarket in Small Heath, Birmingham.  Although each case would be considered on it…

British Summer Time and Easter – be aware and be prepared!

Posted: 07 Mar 2016 03:00 AM PST

Easter falls relatively early this year – the weekend of 26/27 March.  However BST (or more properly Daylight Saving Time) also starts at 1.00am Sunday 27 March 2016 (NB this is the night of Easter Saturday/Sunday), when 1.00am immediately becomes 2.00am.  If you are proposing and are able to trade beyond 1.00am, you need to be aware and have hopefully the position covered off either…

‘CMA takes enforcement action against fake online reviews’ – be aware!

Posted: 07 Mar 2016 02:00 AM PST

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) is warning the hospitality industry to check the services provided by its online marketing agencies after a CMA investigation found clients were unaware that fake positive reviews may have been posted on their behalf. This follows an investigation, reported on their website, into Total SEO & Marketing Ltd (Total SEO), a search engine opti…

Scotland – Zero Waste Regulations – update

Posted: 04 Mar 2016 04:00 AM PST

With effect from 1January 2016, the threshold for businesses affected by the Zero Waste Regulations 2012 changed.  Whereas previously only businesses producing more than 50 kg of food waste a week, the threshold has now dropped to 5kg. It is the duty of any person who controls or manages a food business that produces controlled waste to take all reasonable steps to ensure the separate co…

Age-restricted products and services – reminder

Posted: 04 Mar 2016 01:00 AM PST

News in the press of ‘kitchen knives, razor blades and an axe illegally sold to teenagers in a test purchase operation across West Yorkshire’ recently is a reminder that not just alcohol and tobacco are age restricted and that test purchasing can cover a far wider spectrum of potential sales or activities. In the West Yorkshire operation it is being reported that out of 69 stores p…

The Policing and Crime Bill – opinion piece

Propel published an opinion piece by partner Michelle Hazlewood on this new piece of proposed legislation which in part is designed to clarify the law on the continuity of interim steps following a summary review.It can be read here

Sunday Trading – Possible Relaxation – Update

In connection with the proposed relaxation of Sunday Trading laws and the devolution of decisions down to a local level, the Government has now produced a factsheet about its proposals to de-regulate Sunday trading which can be found here: ‘Devolving powers to extend Sunday trading hours: factsheet‘.

The detailed proposals include:

    • Giving local authorities across England and Wales, the Mayors of London, and Greater Manchester (when elected) and Mayors established through any future devolution deals the power to extend Sunday trading hours.
    • Giving local authorities the option to zone relaxed hours, meaning they can help boost local high streets and shopping areas to the benefit of both larger and smaller stores and consumers.
    • Reducing the notice period for shop workers at large shops to opt out of Sunday working altogether, from the current 3 months to 1 month.
    • Giving shop workers a new right to opt out of working longer than their normal Sunday hours – also by giving 1 months’ notice at large shops or 3 months’ notice at small shops.
    • Guaranteeing a minimum award (usually two weeks’ pay) where a related claim is brought and an employment tribunal finds that the employer failed to notify the shop worker of their opt out rights.

‘Tobacco Illicit Trade Protocol – licensing of equipment and the supply chain’

Tobacco retailers – which may include many pub operators – should be alert to the HMRC consultation just launched under the above catchy title (!) and which canvasses the possible requirement for registration of tobacco wholesalers and retailers going forward.Read more here

LGA and CIPFA Consultation on Locally Set Fees

The Institute of Licensing is reporting that the Local Government Association (LGA) and CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) have launched a local authority consultation on locally set fees. They have jointly written to local authorities seeking further data and information on the local costs for administering and regulating activities under the Licensing Act 2003.Read more here

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme – deadline looms

From 1 January 2016, businesses with a UK establishment who ‘wholesale’ alcohol to other businesses at or after the duty point must apply for AWRS approval and do so by 31 March 2016. ‘Wholesale’ is quite widely defined. Failure to do so will mean you are liable to heavy penalties and possibly forfeiture of stock if you continue to trade after 31 March 2016. A failure to apply for approval means you are automatically considered as trading without approval. Affected businesses have a very limited time frame to apply.

JG&P have produced a detailed briefing document on this scheme.

To request a copy, click here

Pump and Boneyard, Shoreditch – appeal

The facts of the case read a bit like a best-selling novel but the decision before the Magistrates on appeal touched upon a number of pertinent licensing matters which I am incapable of condensing into the required paragraph!Read more here

Essence Bars (London) Ltd (or was it?!) -v- Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames – an Appeal Court decision

This recent Court of Appeal case touched upon where the identity of the appellant was misstated. Was this fatal to the appeal

Read more here

PPL and PRS to ‘combine’?

PRS for Music and PPL have announced a proposal to create a new joint venture company to handle all public performance licensing for the UK. The move comes after a strategic review that started in 2015 and will notably streamline the licensing process. If the plans are approved, the new company would be expected to begin licensing in 2017, with the full transition of public performance licensing due to be completed within 12 months. PPL and PRS for Music will now embark on a consultation with key stakeholders and regulators.Read more here

Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences – Definitive Sentencing Guideline updated

New revised guidelines from the Sentencing Council came into force on 1 February 2016 with the result that likely penalties are likely to be significantly more punitive of employers and more expensive, as a business’s turnover will be taken into account when fines are imposed. The updated rules involve principally three factors key in determining fines: the degree of harm caused, the culpability of the offender, and the turnover of the offending organisation.Read more here

Hartlepool EMRO again – no, not yet!

Reassuring news that Hartlepool Licensing Committee has rejected (at least for now) a request to re-consider the introduction of a possible EMRO. Further justification or a lot more justification has been called for.Read more here

Weston Super Mare – Late Night Levy

The Licensing Authority for North Somerset Council has confirmed that it will not introduce a Late Night Levy to cover the area of Weston Super Mare. The Licensing Authority in conjunction with the Council appears to have taken a broad review of the situation.Read more here

Tower Hamlets Late Night Levy

On the 15 February Town Hamlets launched a consultation regarding the introduction of a late night levy on premises operating in their area after midnight.Read more here

Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday – Licensing Tips

2016 sees the Queen achieve her 90th Birthday, which will be a significant national event. We have already received our first enquiry regarding TENs for a large outdoor event over the weekend of the 12 to 15 May. In addition, there is the Patrons lunch which is to take place on The Mall on Sunday 12 June. The Government have released updated Guidance on the organisation of a ‘Street Party’. The revised Guidance is to help people set up their own Patron’s lunch or street parties and is there to provide a handy check list for the organiser. It includes an assessment as to whether a licence – be it a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice – will be required.Read more here

Taxis – Uber, Black Cabs, and the Congestion Charge – Commentary

The rise of the phone Apps such as Uber, which connect passengers with available drivers in their immediate locality, has created a considerable tension between their service and the Hackney Carriages trade, in London particularly. Partner Chris Grunert has produced a commentary on the current position.Read more here

Gambling – Commission Wins Greene King Appeal

Regular readers will recall this long running saga which centres on whether public houses are appropriate venues to be granted an Operating Licence to authorise bingo (and therefore higher jackpot gaming machines). Judge Levenson in his appeal decision has found that the Commission has the legal authority to refuse an application for an Operating Licence if it considers granting the application would not be reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives, although whether the decision to refuse was correct on its merits was not considered. The case is to be sent back to the First-tier Tribunal for reconsideration. A copy of the decision can be found here.

Gaming – Local Risk Assessments go live 6 April 2016

With effect from 6 April 2016 the updated Social Responsibility Code will take effect which includes a requirement that licensees must assess the local risks to the licensing objectives posed by the provision of gambling facilities at each of their premises, and have policies, procedures and control measures to mitigate those risks. In making risk assessments, licensees must take into account relevant matters identified in the licensing authority’s statement of licensing policy.Read more here

Gambling – Paddy Power Holdings Ltd – Settlement of Gambling Commission Investigation

The Gambling Commission have published a public statement regarding a number of serious failings on the part of Paddy Power Holdings Ltd (Paddy Power) in relation to keeping crime out of gambling and protecting vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited. The full public statement, which forms part of the voluntary settlements entered into between the Commission and Paddy Powe…

Gambling – Local Risk Assessments come into effect 6th April 2016

On 6th April the new social responsibility code provision 10.1.1 will come into effect. Operators of the following premises must have conducted an assessment of the local risks to the licensing objectives: adult gaming centres family entertainment centres non-remote betting non-remote bingo non-remote casinos remote betting intermediary (trading room only).  This is a docu…

Gambling – Commission Publish Research on Gambling Trends

The Gambling Commission has published research following data drawn from a telephone survey of 4000 people conducted during 2015. Headline findings include the fact that participation in gambling has fallen from 57% in 2012 to 45% in 2015.Read more here

Scotland – Gambling – Commission Warning to Scottish Pubs

Publicans in Scotland are being reminded that they are breaking the law if they allow their pubs to be used for betting or provide facilities enabling betting. This warning follows a multi-agency exercise undertaken by the Gambling Commission with officers from Police Scotland and from Aberdeenshire licensing authorities. The exercise involved awareness raising visits to several pubs in north-east Scotland to highlight the requirements of the Gambling Act.

The Commission have recently published a ‘Quick Guide to gaming in pubs‘, as we have previously reported.Read more here

Scotland – Minimum Unit Pricing Court of Session hearing dates

A reminder that it is being reported that the Scottish Court will now consider the matter on 7 and 8 June 2016.Read more here

Scotland – Glasgow Licensing Board Festive Policy 2016 -2017

Glasgow Board’s festive policy for 2016 – 2017 has just been announced.Read more here

Scotland – South Lanarkshire Licensing Board Dates Released for 2016

Read more here

And finally…

We continue to be one of the sponsors for the Sheffield Best Bar None Scheme and this month attended a brilliant awards ceremony at the City Hall in Sheffield. It was especially pleasurable to see the hard work of our Best Bar None colleagues acknowledged on a national basis as they had just returned from the National Award ceremony with 2 of the 3 awards! Well done Sheffield.

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