Locally-set licensing fees 'bad news' for industry

31 March, 2011

Licensing fees look set to rise under new guidance to councils being drawn up by the government.

MPs are debating an amendment to the Police Reform & Responsibility Bill which would allow licensing authorities in England and Wales the flexibility to set fees that cover their costs.

At present, the Local Government Association estimates that council tax payers have subsidised the licensing system to the tune of £100 million more than anticipated.

Licensing solicitor Jeremy Allen of Poppleston Allen described the move as bad news for the industry, even though the Home Office is proposing an upper limit on fees.

He added: “Variable fees could be payable in different parts of the country. Constraints may be imposed upon the licensing authority's power to determine the amount but, subject to that, the licensing authority appears to be able to fix the fee, and revise it. There may also be different fees for different types of premises.”




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I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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