Moveable feast

06 April, 2007

I think your response to the licensee who wanted to sell beers from a mobile van requires clarification (What's Your Problem, OLN, March 9).

Licences may be granted in respect of vessels and moveable structures. The Act provides that where a vehicle is not permanently situated in the same place but it is proposed that it be used for licensable activities while parked at a particular place, it is treated as if it were premises situated at that place. If it is proposed to use a moveable structure for licensable activities while set in a particular place, the structure is treated as if it were premises situated at that place. Where a vehicle or moveable structure is to be used at more than one place, it is treated for the purposes of the Act as though it were different premises in each place (Section 189). The effect is that applications may need to be made to more then one relevant authority. They may also make use of Temporary Events Notices.

Gavin Holt

Witham Wines, Lincoln

Brown won't listen

It's a real shame that Gordon Brown has not taken into account anything the trade has been saying . Maybe the lobbying was not strong enough from the wine trade - possibly we need to get together and do something collectively.

I am not too sure even that will help, as the spirit companies are much better organised and I think the stamps were still forced upon them (if I understand the situation correctly ).

It may sound like we do not want the tax on wine at all, but that is not the case - grudgingly we accept that excise duty on wine is here to stay. However, it would have been far better if three years ago we were told that the excise duty was going to increase by 10p or 15p per bottle and then no further increases for three years.

It is the creeping up of the duty that is the real problem. Wine is still very price-point sensitive, most end in 9s and mostly at 99s, so pushing the price over the top of 99 makes a huge difference to consumer perception of the cost of a bottle - £3.99 is three pounds something, £4.05 is over £4 . Too much for some consumers!

There is a real feeling in the trade that the incremental increases have become a trade tax rather than a consumer tax.

The solution to the problem, as Gordon certainly won't listen, is: Open a good bottle of wine, pour into a large glass (responsible drinking only) put our feet up and just be pleased that we are in a wonderful trade that everyone envies .

I really do not want to create a reputation of people in the wine trade being whiners , but we are the paupers of the BWS sector!

Nish Kotecha

Director, Myliko Wine

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All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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