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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Licensing Act 2003 (alcohol, entertainment etc.)

Licensing Act 2003

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This page contains general information on licensing, including:

  • The Licensing Act 2003 - an introduction;
  • The role of the Council's Licensing Committee; and
  • Contact details for the Council's Licensing Section.

Further information is available on the following topics by clicking on the links below:

The Public Register

The public register is Ribble Valley Borough Council's interactive web-pages dedicated to providing up to date information and services in relation to the Council's Licensing function.

The Licensing Act 2003 - an introduction

The Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act") establishes a single integrated scheme for licensing premises, which are used for the supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment or to provide late night refreshment.

Permission to carry on some or all of these licensable activities are now contained in a single licence - the premises licence - and the Act has accordingly swept away considerable red tape at a stroke.

The Act also provides a balanced package of freedoms and safeguards. It has an important role in the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance perpetrated by a minority. It will give the responsible majority more freedom and choice about how they spend their leisure time.

The Act provides certain rights of appeal to the Magistrates' Court for those who feel aggrieved by decisions made by licensing authorities. So a right of appeal is not only afforded to applicants where their application has been rejected, or has been granted subject to conditions, but is also afforded to those who made relevant representations in relation to an application; for example a local resident has a right to appeal against the decision of the licensing authority to grant a premises licence if they made relevant representations as an interested party in relation to the application where he/she considers the application should not have been granted.

The Act marks the end of the existing outdated licensing regimes. The legislation reflects that the licensable activities it covers are to be carried on in a modern, vibrant society and deserves a more streamlined and unified licensing system.

Key measures contained in the Act include:

  • Flexible opening hours for premises, with the potential for up to 24 hour opening, seven days a week, subject to consideration of the impact on local residents, businesses and the expert opinion of a range of authorities in relation to the licensing objectives. This will help to minimise public disorder resulting from fixed closing times.
  • A single premises licence which can permit premises to be used to supply alcohol to provide regulated entertainment and to provide late night refreshment. This brings together the six existing licensing regimes (alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses and night cafes) thereby cutting down on red tape.
  • A new system of personal licences relating to the supply of alcohol which will enable holders to move more freely between premises where a premises licence is in force.

Premises licences are issued by the licensing authority after notification to the Responsible Authorities Those living in, and businesses operating in, the vicinity of the premises are also able to make representations on applications.

Personal licenses are issued by the licensing authority after scrutiny by the police where the applicant has been convicted of certain offences.

Licensing Committee

The Council's licensing function is overseen by the Licensing Committee which is made up of a group of 14 elected members of the Council, with powers and duties given to them by the Council as follows:

1.  To discharge all of the Council's functions under the Licensing Act 2003 except for the function of the determination and publication of the Licensing Policy Statement.

2.  To discharge any function of the Council which is related to the Council's functions under the Licensing Act 2003 subject to the provisions of section 7 of the Licensing Act 2003.

The Licensing Committee meet regularly to deal with licensing matters.

They have also delegated some of their responsibilities under the Act to Licensing Sub-Committees which are made up of three members of the full committee. These sub-committees hear any contested applications and any requests for review of premises licences.

Licensing Section

For further information and advice on the Licensing Act 2003 please contact:
Administration & Licensing Officer
Ribble Valley Borough Council
Council Offices
Church Walk
Clitheroe
Lancashire
BB7 2RA

Direct line: 01200 414454
Fax: 01200 414485
e-mail: catherine.moore@ribblevalley.gov.uk