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Abstract

Abstract

The current legislation is being overturned in February as the new Licensing Act 2005 comes in. It will cover all the existing licences under one all encompassing Act. This report has covered the Premises Licence, Temporary Events Notice, the framework for the sale and supply of alcohol, door security legislation and how it all has been affected and the effects it will have on the public entertainment industry.

The Premises licence will cut down the red tape and benefit many separate businesses as it will encompass many existing licences into one and make it easier for premise licence holders to make use of the licensing activities available to them.

The Licensing Act is making it easier for people to hold a temporary event or activity by introducing a new set of rules regarding the occasional licences system. It will enable for smaller scale events to be put on without so much examination and enable for less hindering by red tape and lengthy procedures.

The new Personal Licence will enable applicants to hold a permission to sell alcohol in establishments who hold a Premises Licence. It helps the holder to move between premises without having to re-apply for another licence and is there to ensure holders are aware of social issues and problems arising from alcohol.

Door security standards have been set by the new legislation. Door supervisors must apply for a new licence in order to continue working in the door security industry. It helps set standards and ensure door supervisors are aware of everything they must know in order to carry out their job.

Changes in the current public entertainment licensing legislation, their purposes and effects

Contents

Abstract PG 1

Contents PG 2

Introduction PG 3

Findings PGs 4-8

Conclusion PG 9

References/Bibliography PG 10-11 Introduction

This report looks into changes the current Licensing Act is undergoing regarding public entertainment.

New legislation will come into effect in February 2005. There will be a transition period of 9 months until November when the new Act will be enforceable. All other licenses that come under the new Licensing Act 2005 will automatically expire regardless of any inherent expiry periods within certain licences.

There are 4 licensing objectives that the government wishes to promote. They are:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Protection of children
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety

This report will compare and contrast the current legislation with the key areas of change in the new legislation and analyse the effect and cultural spin-off the changes will have. It will compare/contrast the Premises Licence, Temporary Events Notice, the framework for sale and supply of alcohol and the interface with the employment of door security staff. Premises Licence

As of the February 2005, new legislation will come into effect that will change the whole licensing system. The Licensing Act 2003 changes the way the old licensing system works by bringing many different licences under one "umbrella" license, which will regulate all of them. This licence will affect any business that is involved in the retail sale of alcohol and any business that provides public entertainment and late night refreshments. The permission to have one or some of these activities going on in your premises will be granted through the new Premises Licence.

There are many key changes in the new Licensing Act. In terms of the Premises Licence, these are the main points.

Firstly, the new Premises Licence will affect the opening/closing hours of premises. The old licence provided that all establishments had to abide by the fixed times and days. For example, the premises could only offer public entertainment between 1200-2400 Monday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 1200-0200. Now the Premises Act provides the premises the choice of choosing their own hours, which will suit them the best. There is the potential for premises to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week if they choose to do so. This ends the old regime where establishments could only sell alcohol if there were other activities going on such as music and dancing which led to a limited number of establishments offering diverse activities in the night time. Ending the fixed closing times will also have an effect on the disorder, nuisance and crime, which seems to plague practically every major city with a busy night life. It is common knowledge that most of the problems occur when people are forced out into the streets because the pubs have shut and therefore try to drink as much as they can before 11pm. The Act is not encouraging 24 hour drinking. It is just moving on from old ways into the modern world. Binge drinking is inherent in British culture. However, it seems that no other place in world has these binge drinking problems because they don’t enforce certain drinking times. They leave it up to the establishment to dictate what better suits them. It leaves people the choice of drinking at their own pace, instead of having to neck everything before a stipulated time.

Businesses will now be able to apply for one single licence that will cover all the activities they wish to carry on. This removes a lot of unnecessary paper work and hassle due to the archaic procedures of applying to a court and going through so much scrutiny. There will only be scrutiny if interested parties such as local residents in the vicinity and the police request that an inquiry be made into the impact the premises will have. Now, businesses have to apply to their local councils for a single licence, which encompasses all activities, and the fee will be the same even if they do not make use of all the activities it offers.

There must be an Operating Schedule, which will become the terms of how and when the business will operate. It consists of:

  • Business hours
  • Who the DPS will be
  • Duration of licence
  • Licensable activities carried out on premises
  • Statement of steps taken to achieve licensing objectives

The rule that determined that only two performers could perform in a bar at one point in time will be abolished. This is due to the government believing that this rule has "encouraged public houses to only put one or two entertainers/performers all night or face paying the full cost of a public entertainment licence" (http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/premises_licences.htm). This rule has proved to be restrictive and puts off licensees from providing better and more diverse entertainment. It also reinforces the government’s stance on providing more employment to musicians and entertainers.

The Premises Licence also determines that there now must be a DPS, or Designated Premises Supervisor named on the Premises licence, to supervise the premises (not required for club premises licence though). The DPS will be the point of contact for the licensing authorities and other responsible authorities. Like the licensee, the DPS must be there most of the time and must be aware of social issues and problems associated with the sale of alcohol and hold a personal licence. (http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/default.htm)

Temporary Event Notice

The Licensing Act is making it easier for people to hold a temporary event or activity by introducing a new set of rules regarding the occasional licences system. The person, who wants to have a temporary event, or the "premises user", will have to apply to the local council for a TEN (Temporary Event Notice) and give a copy to the police.

These temporary events notices apply to events with less than 500 attendees, whereas the old occasional licences system provided that there could be any number of attendees present. The premises may be able to take over 500 people, but only 500 attendees are allowed. If any more that 500 people are present, then the event will be deemed unlawful as it breaching the conditions. If the premises user plans to have more than 500 attendees present, then he must apply for a full premises licence. As with the old occasional licence, the premises user must be over 18 years old.

The premises user must give copies of the temporary event notice 10 days before the start of the event, to the authorities and local council together with the proposed fee of £21. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418114/182-Guidance2015.pdf) This is different from the occasional licence system where the prices of the occasional licences are in accordance with the amount of people attending the event. Also, applications were made to the Magistrates court, the police and fire brigade whereas the new TEN’s will be made to the council. Only the Police will be able to object to an event covered by a TEN.

The Temporary Event Notice will entitle the premises user to give 5 notices a year. However, if the premises user has a personal licence, which entitles him to sell alcohol, he may give 50 notices a year.

This new system of licensing temporary events will encourage people to put smaller scale events on without being put off by the amount of procedure involved in the previous licence. It seeks to make putting on events user friendly.

Framework for sale and supply of alcohol

The Licensing Act 2003 has also affected the sale and supply of alcohol. The old Licensing Act 1964 established that a liquor licence could be granted to an individual for a single licensed premise. The same applies to the new law but now the licensee or someone involved in the retail of alcohol can apply for a personal licence. A personal licence will be required to sell alcohol under a premises licence. "A personal licence on its own is not sufficient to sell alcohol." (www.mkweb.co.uk/environmental-health/licensing/faq)

The licence is there to ensure that the person selling alcohol is aware of problems and social issues associated with alcohol and that is also aware of the licensing laws.

Anyone can apply for a personal licence as long as they meet the required criteria; of being over 18, possess a licensing qualification, not forfeited a personal licence because of a relevant offence, and paid the fee for the licence which is proposed to be around £37. A personal licence authorises a premises to be used for the sale of alcohol.

The Designated Premises Supervisor must be a personal licence holder, as he must oversee or authorise the sale of alcohol. The personal licence also ends the regime where licensees and publicans had to be tied to specific premises. It doesn’t however entitle the personal licence holder to sell alcohol anywhere. It just entitles them to sell alcohol where there is a premises licence in operation. A personal licence holder also is entitled to 50 TEN’s a year, other than the 5 given to non-licensed individuals.

It is possible for more than one personal licence holder to operate in a premise however not all staff involved in the sale of alcohol must be licence holders. The personal licence will be valid for 10 years and can be renewed again after that.

Door Security

The Licensing Act 2003 has also brought massive changes in the way door security is licensed. Through the old Licensing Act 1964, door security must be registered with the local council and Club Watch. After registering, they must be trained over six months as door supervisors or another time specifically specified by the Club Watch. A register must be kept of all the door supervisors working at the premises so that the authorities like the Local Council or Police can inspect. The register must have information about the staff like their name, registration number, time they worked from, and whom they are employed to. The latter is due to the fact that many door security staff are outsourced from security firms and every day there might be new staff on duty.

The problem at the moment is the fact that there isn’t a recognised qualification to ensure that all door supervisors are trained to the same standards through out the country. Many firms carry out their own in-house training but there is nothing to say that people are aware and abide by the same standards. There are many door supervisors that are very good and some are very bad and there have been several cases where door supervisors just don’t know how to handle drunk people and end up taking the law into their own hands. As there isn’t a national standard, there were other measures put into place by the legislation. All licensees must inform the local Club Watch if they have dismissed specific door supervisors for serious misconduct. The Club Watch will then take steps to either remove the door supervisor off the register or make an investigation into the supervisors conduct. Also, door staff must wear proper identification tags so they can be identified easily if anything does happen and there must be a written record of any incident that occurs for reference purposes.

By the end of the second appointed day (November 2005), all security staff will need to be licensed by the Security Industry Association. All door supervisors will need a license. If they do not have one, they will be operating illegally. Door supervisors must complete a 3-5 day training course that brings them up to standard with what the new licence demands. It doesn’t matter if the trainee has been working for 30 years on the job, they will still have to undergo the same courses on fire safety, conflict management and other topics to be legal. Its all about setting the standard around the country. (www.the-sia.org.uk)

Also, under the new legislation, door supervisor must not have a criminal record. This will impede many current door supervisors from obtaining a licence to work as door supervisors. The cost of the license and the training required is quite substantial. Both together cost around £500, which will prove to be a problem for several people. (www.the-sia.org.uk)

Conclusion

It seems the principle rationale for the changes in the legislation is to streamline everything into the modern world. Legislation should be there to motivate trade and business, not hinder it. The old licensing system hinders the thriving entertainment economy by discouraging people from having a go at it because of the formalities and rules that regulate it. There is such a booming live music culture and night time economy that it is in the governments interest to motivate it even more and capitalise on it. It lets local councils decide what is best suited for certain areas instead of relying on a more national approach to things. Changes will take time to come into effect. For example, it seems that people are used to drinking as much as they can before 11pm, and that’s why there is a massive increase in crime at those hours. It is evident that everywhere else in the world, people take their time drinking. The time isn’t enforced upon you. These laws were passed a long time ago. Times are very different from what they were when the laws were passed and therefore the law has to keep up to date to serve today’s societies’ best interest. The new Act brings a balance of safeguards and freedoms. It gives increased say to the people and empowers the Police and Councils to protect the people.

References

[Anon]. ([n.d.]) Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003[online]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418114/182-Guidance2015.pdf

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon]. ([n.d.]) Licensing Act 2003 [online]. DCMS. Available from: http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/default.htm [Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) Personal Licences [online]. DCMS. Available from: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/licensing/personal

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) Premises Licences [online]. DCMS. Available from:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/premises_licences.htm

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) FAQ [online]. DCMS. Available from:

(www.mkweb.co.uk/environmental-health/licensing/faq)

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) Security Licences [online]. DCMS. Available from:

(www.the-sia.org.uk)

[Accessed 10th December 2004] Bibliography

Kemp, C. and Hill, I. (2004). Health and Safety Aspects In The Live Music Industry. Hertfordshire: Entertainment Technology Press Ltd.

[Anon]. ([n.d.]) Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003[online]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418114/182-Guidance2015.pdf

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon]. ([n.d.]) Licensing Act 2003 [online]. DCMS. Available from: http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/default.htm [Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) Personal Licences [online]. DCMS. Available from: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/licensing/personal

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) Premises Licences [online]. DCMS. Available from:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/premises_licences.htm

[Accessed 10th December 2004]

[Anon].([n.d.]) FAQ [online]. DCMS. Available from:

(www.mkweb.co.uk/environmental-health/licensing/faq)

[Accessed 10th December 2004]



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