Back in April Westminster City Council invited the Association to contribute to their Licensing Review (See Westminster Licensing Review ). The Association has responded to the questions put to us by the Council which are outlined below. If you have any comments on the questions or our response, please use the comment facility at the end or this article. Michael Bolt, Chairman, The Marylebone Association.
Consolidated list of consultation questions:
Q1 Do you agree that the stress area policy relating to premises which sell alcohol but are not bars, pubs or restaurants should be clarified?
Yes, particularly with regard to cafes selling alcohol which could have a similar impact to bars and restaurants, but at the moment are not controlled in the same way in stress areas.
Q2 What conditions should be attached to such licences so as to ensure that they do not add to cumulative impact in the stress area?
We feel that there should be a strict time limit on the sale of alcohol and sale of alcohol should be made only to seated customers with food.
Q3 Do you agree that if the sale of alcohol is limited to 20.00 hours then the premises are unlikely to add to cumulative impact in the stress area?
No, we would suggest that 18.00 hours should be the cut off time. Later than this means that these premises would be adding to the evening trade and have cumulative impact considerations.
Q4 Do you agree that proprietary clubs are very likely to contribute to cumulative impact in the stress area and will often not offer sufficient control over their members to promote the licensing objectives?
Yes, these are often used as a way round stress area policies and should be included in them.
Q5 Do you agree that premises used for private functions, whether they be corporate or personal, are very likely to contribute to cumulative impact in the stress area and will often not offer sufficient control over their members to promote the licensing objectives?
Yes, as above.
Q6 Do you agree that the policy should not be reviewed in anticipation of the transport changes, but considered at a later date?
We feel that the new policy should address this matter now and make it clear that an extension in public transport services will not be entertained as a ground for extending the licensing hours of any premises.
Q7 Do you agree that the council should impose conditions to restrict the hours during which customers may be permitted to consume alcohol and be permitted on licensed premises where it considers it appropriate to do so to promote the licensing objectives?
Yes. We understand that this was the case before the Licensing Act 2003 and it appears to be an anomaly that the hours of sale of alcohol are controlled, but not the hours of consumption of alcohol.
Q8 When an application to review a licence at a premises is being made, do you agree that the licensing authority should consider whether it is appropriate to review all the licences in effect at the premises in order to promote the licensing objectives, and to encourage other applicants to do so?
In fact we do not understand why an application to review a licence does not automatically trigger a review of all licences in effect at the premises.
Q9 Do you agree that the licensing authority in order to promote the licensing objectives should have a policy that all licences take effect when granted?
Yes and we are surprised that this is not the case already.
Q10 Do you agree that the council should only authorise events under its Area Premises Licences when it is appropriate to do so to promote the licensing objectives and ensure that persons likely to be affected by such events have had an opportunity to have their say?
If the Council choose to use their Area Premises Licence there should be a more extensive consultation with affected parties than there appears to be at present.
Q11 In what circumstances do you consider that an event should, or should not, be authorised under an Area Premises Licence
Only when the licensing objective cannot be more easily met by other means and only then if there is proper consultation of affected parties.
Q12 Do you agree that in updating policy NS1 the council should retain control over nudity, striptease and sex related entertainment in premises which are not regulated by a SEV licence?
Q13 Do you agree that including areas of the highway intended for use by tables and chairs in the premises licence can be misleading?
Yes, this is confusing, the premises licence should be limited to inside the premises with any areas outside being treated as off-sales.
Q14 Are there any other comments you wish to make or issues you wish to raise in relation to the policy which are not covered above?
We would like to see restrictions imposed on drinking outside premises as this can, and does cause significant disturbance to nearby residents. We would like to see restrictions on delivery and collection hours as a matter of course for similar reasons.