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Licensing Act 2003 - Latest News

Latest News for Licensing Act 2003

News regarding the alcohol licensed trade in Erewash and an archive of associated licensing matters.

Entiltlement to work in the United Kingdom - amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 - implications for business owners and operators of licensed premises

The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent in May and became the Immigration Act 2016. There are notable sections affecting the licensing Act 2003, and came into force on 6 April 2017. The general purpose of the 2016 Act is to make it more difficult to live and work illegally in the United Kingdom, and introduces changes in respect to illegal working on licensed premises.

Changes to the Licensing Act 2003

1. Premises Licence Applications

  • Individuals resident in the UK will not be able to apply for a premises licence unless the individual is entitled to work in the United KIngdom.
  • The Secretary of State (Home Office) will become a Responsible Authority where the premises is or proposes to sell alcohol by retail or provide late night refreshment. This will allow the Immigration Service to make representations against the grant of a premises licence.
  • Premises licences will lapse if the licence holder ceases to be entitled to work in the UK whilst resident in the UK whilst resident in the UK (or becomes resident without being entitled to work).

2. Premises Licence Transfers

  • Individulas resident in the United Kingdom will not be able to apply for a licence transfer if the licence authorises the sale of alcohol or late night refreshment (neither may they give an interim authority notice) unless the individual is entitled to work in the UK.
  • The Secretary of State (Hiome Office) will need to be served with a copy of the application (where the premises sells alcohol by retail or provide late night refreshment) and will have 14 days to object if satisfied that the exceptional circumstances of the case are such that granting the application would be prejudicial to the prevention of illegal working in licensed premises.
    In a hearing convened due to the Home Office's objection the licensing Autority must reject the transfer application if it considers it appropriate for the prevention of illegal working in licensed premises to do so.

3. Personal Licences

  • Those not entitled to work in the United Kingdom will not be able to apply for a Personal Licence
  • Immigration offences (under schedule 4 paragraph 7A Licensing Act 2003 i.e. an offence under any of the Immigration Acts) will become relevant for Personal Licences.
  • Immigration penalties contrary to s15 of the  Immigration and Nationality Act 2006 or s23 Immigration Act 2014 also become disclosable subject to certain exceptions.
  • The Secretary of State (Home Office) will need to be seved a copy of the application if the application has an unspent immigration offence,foreign offence equivalent or has been required to pay an immigration penalty. The Home Office will have 14 days to object to the application. In a hearing convened due to teh Home office's objection, the licensing authority must reject the application if it considers it appropriate for the prevention of illegal working in licensed premises to do so.
  • There will be a new duty for Personal Licence Holders to inform the licensing authority if required to pay an immigration penalty.
  • A Personal Licence will cease to have effect if the holder ceases to be entitled to work in the UK.

4. Rights of Entry

  • Immigration officers will be able to enter premises (selling alcohol or providing late night refreshment) with a view to seeing whether an offence under of the Immigration Acts is being committed in connection with the carrying on of a licensing activity.

5. Illegal working Closure Notices

  • An immigration officer will be able to issue an 'illegal working closure notice' for up to 48 hours if he or she is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that an employer operating at the premises is employing a person who does not have the correct work status. A closure notice may only be issued if reasonable efforts have been made to inform any person who has interest in the premises that the notice is to be issued. Additionally, the immigration officer is required to consult any person he belives is appropriate.

Entertainment -  De - regulation under the Licensing Act effective from 6 April 2015

Live Music
Live amplified music in on-licensed premises authorised and open for the sale of alcohol does not require a licence for audiences up to 500 (a 300 increase) from 08:00 until 23:00pm. This includes beer gardens and terraces if they are included in the licensed premises. Live-music related conditions do not apply unless they are re-imposed at a Review. If a beer garden is not shown on the licensed plans then it is likely to nevertheless be a workplace which benefits from a similar exemption. Karaoke is considered live music. Live unamplified music does not need a licence anywhere and with no audience limit between 08:00 to 23:00.

Entertainment Facilities
Entertainment facilities (stages, karaoke machines, microphone stands, even electrical sockets) have not been licensable since October 2012. You may still see these 'authorised' on your licence if it has not been amended but they are no longer relevant to licensing.

Recorded Music
Recorded music in on-licensed premises benefits from the same exemption as live music above, with the same audience limit. This covers DJs and discos and is a new development, as hitherto most recorded music above background level has been licensable under the Act. There is no equivalent "workplace" exemption. Background live and recorded music continues to be exempt.

Performance of Plays, Indoor Sporting Events and Performances of Dance
'Plays' could include Noddy at a holiday camp but also a themed "ghost story-reading night" with paid actors at a pub. 'Performances of Dance' includes any non-customer dancing that is intended to entertain an audience. Since June 2013, for audiences up to 500 (and in the case of indoor sporting events, up to 1,000) from 8am until 11:00pm none of these activities require authorisation under the Licensing Act. Lap-dancing and other forms of sexual entertainment on up to 11 occasions a year remain regulated under the 2003 Act (any more will usually require a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence)

The showing of pre-recorded films which are incidental to some other activity (for example, drinking, eating or playing pool) is not licensable. This will very much be dependent on the facts of each case but the real test will be, Is the showing of any pre-recorded film likely to undermine one of the licensing objectives?

Boxing & Wrestling
This activity remains regulated under the Act (and now explicitly includes mixed martial arts) apart from Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. 


Schools will be exempt from applying for live or recorded music between  08:00 and 23:00 provided that:

  • the audience does not exceed 500, and
  • the organiser gets consent for the performance on the premises from the school concerned.

And, any entertainment provided by or on behalf of a school on their own school premises between 8am–11pm.


Hospitals will be exempt from applying for live or recorded music between  08:00 and 23:00 provided that:

  • the audience does not exceed 500, and
  • the organiser gets consent for the performance on the hospital premises from the healthcare provider concerned.

And, any entertainment provided by or on behalf of a school on their own hospital premises between 8am–11pm.

Community premises

Community premises will be exempt from applying for live or recorded music between 8am–11pm in a church hall, village hall, community hall, or other similar community premises that is not licensed to sell alcohol provided that:

  • the audience does not exceed 500, and
  • the organiser gets consent for the performance from a person who is responsible for the premises

Films in community premises

No licence required for not-for-profit film exhibition held in the community premises between 8am–11pm provided that:

  • the audience does not exceed 500, and
  • the organiser gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises, and
  • ensures that each screening abides by age classification ratings.

Travelling circuses – new exemption

Any entertainment (excluding films and a boxing or wrestling entertainment) taking place at a travelling circus, provided:

  • it takes place within a moveable structure that accommodates the audience, and
  • that the travelling circus has not been located on the same site for more than 28 consecutive days.


From 6 April 2015 the following are still licensable:

  • any entertainment activity after 23:00 hours
  • most forms of entertainment activity in the presence of an audience of more than 500 people (with a few exceptions)
  • any sexual entertainment

None of the exemptions affect the need to apply for copyright licensing or the requirement not to cause a noise nuisance. Regulated Entertainment is a complex area and there are other minor exemptions - we recommend you take legal advice if in any doubt.

No renewal of Personal Licence

The Deregulation Bill received Royal assent on 26 March 2015 and was passed on 1 April 2015, becoming the  Deregulation Act 2014. In simple terms this means that you are no longer required to renew your personal licence after the 10 year expiry date as was previously the case. The licence will remain valid with no expiry date

Please note that you are still required to let us know if you change your name or address so we can update your licence, otherwise you are not required to take any further action. If this is the case you will need to complete an additional separate form and pay the prescribed fee of £10.50.

Personal licence holders also have a duty to notify the relevant licensing authority if they have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence. (This is a requirement under s.123 Licensing Act 2003. Relevant offences are listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003).

Guidance on new Mandatory Licensing Conditions - 1 October 2014

The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) (Amendment) Order 2014 amends the 2010 Order to make provision to replace the mandatory conditions prescribed in that order with the conditions prescribed in this order. The conditions will apply to all relevant premises licences and club premises certificates which authorise the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, with the exception of the age verification condition, which will also apply to licences and certificates which permit the supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises.

See the Home Office guidance.

The new Mandatory Conditions from 1 October 2014

New Mandatory Condition regarding the minimum price of alcohol - from May 28 2014

On 23 March the Government launched its Alcohol Strategy, which aims to radically reshape the approach to alcohol and reduce the number of people drinking to excess. The Alcohol Strategy is targeted at harmful and hazardous consumers and aims to limit the impact on responsible consumers. The Government's response to the Alcohol Strategy consultation, published on 17 July 2013, set out its intention to ban below cost selling to tackle the worst examples of sales of cheap alcohol.

The Government has established ''cost'' as the amount of ''duty plus VAT'', defined as the level of alcohol duty (duty) for a product plus value added tax (VAT) payable on the duty element of the product price.

The guidance provides a single point of reference for suppliers of alcohol and local authorities in England and Wales for banning the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT.

The guidance document provides comprehensive information regarding implementation of the relevant legislation, methods of calculating the amount of duty plus VAT (referred to in in legislation as the ''permitted price'') and effective enforcement of the ban. The implementation date of the legislation is 28 May 2014.

The ban prevents businesses from selling alcohol at heavily discounted prices and aims to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and its associated impact on alcohol related crime and health harms.

The ban is a new licensing condition and  will be applicable to every Premises Licence and Club Certificate in England and Wales that permits the sale or supply of alcohol, whether licensed to sell off or on the premises.

The  Home Office have also  produced a 'calculator'  to assist licensees in ensuring that the price at which alcohol is sold will not breach this licence condition. See the 'calculator' and guidance notes on the GOV.UK website.

Non - compliance with this condition may mean that the person who made the sale would commit an offence under section 136 of the Licensing Act 2003. This offence carries a penalty (on conviction) of up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a £20,000 fine. It may also result in the premises licence or club certificate being reviewed..

The new licensing condition can be seen or downloaded here.

Public Health Responsibility Deal

In March 2011 the Department of Health launched the Public Health Responsibility Deal, its primary aim being a reduction in alcohol harm along with improved health and wellbeing, tackled through fitness, healthier food and a healthier lifestyle.

On top of the impact on people's lives, estimates of the annual direct costs to the NHS as a result of alcohol misuse, physical inactivity and obesity are as high as £8.7 Billion. People's environments, lifestyles, families, workplace, peer groups and behaviour define their health prospects and are shaped by a wide range of factors.

Although originally directed at larger organisations the Responsibility Deal is now looking for localised support to target smaller premises. Erewash Borough Council supports the core commitment to foster a culture of responsible drinking to help people to drink within healthier guidelines.

Organisations signing up as partners to the Responsibility Deal can commit to play their part in improving public health at a local level. In signing up, they agree to take action voluntarily to support the Responsibility Deal’s ambitions and alcohol pledges.

Pubwatch Online

Erewash Pubwatch schemes at Ilkeston, Long Eaton and Erewash Rural are now online and using the facilities of Pubwatch Online to help these organisations run their pubwatch operations, and to help combat anti-social behaviour by sharing online information amongst its members. Participants in these schemes will now have instant access to information on individuals that have been banned from all Erewash licensed premises due to violence, threatening behaviour, stealing, drug dealing and taking.

Staff from registered premises will now have the power to quickly identify banned individuals and remind them that they are not permitted to enter any licensed premises in the area. Banned individuals ignoring a pubwatch ban will find themselves in trouble with the Police and facing possible further action. The pubwatch initiative aims at achieving a safer social drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK.

Please register by visiting Pubwatch Online, or alternatively contact P.C. Mark Dunn of Derbyshire Police on 0300 1225408.

Pubwatch Meetings in Erewash

The date and venue of the next meetings of the three Erewash pubwatch schemes are listed below. Please contact the licensing team on 0115907113 if you require any further details of these meetings.

Ilkeston Pubwatch

The next meeting is being held at the Manor Squash Club, Ilkeston on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at 10am.

Long Eaton Pubwatch

All meetings are held at Brennans on Regent Street on the first Thursday of every month.

The next meeting is being held at Brennans on Regent Street, Long Eaton on Thursday 2 February 2017 at 10.30am.

The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 

On 27 June 2013 further changes to the licensing provisions for Regulated Entertainment will come into effect as a result of the above Order. The following activities will be exempt from requiring a licence if the activity is to take place between 08:00 - 23:00 on any day:

  • A performance of a play in the presence of any audience of no more than 500 people.
  • A performance of dance in the presence of any audience of no more than 500 people.
  • An indoor sporting event in the presence of any audience of no more than 1,000 people. 

The order also clarifies that Combined Fighting Sports (Mixed Martial Arts, Cage fighting etc) are a from of Boxing and Wrestling and will continue to be regulated as before (with the exception of Olympic style Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling).

Live Music Act 2012

The Live Music Bill 2012 received Royal Assent on 8 March 2012, and came into force on 1 October 2012 .The Act has changed  provisions within the Licensing Act 2003 to deregulate live music within premises licensed for the sale of alcohol, and remove facilities for making music. The primary outcomes of this change in legislation is that that live music will cease to be regulated entertainment in venues licensed for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises in the following situations:

  • When it is unamplified and takes place between 8.00am and 11.00pm; and
  • When it is amplified and takes place in the presence of an audience of 200 persons or less between 8.00am and 11.00pm.

Any condition attached to the premises licence relating to live music ceases to have effect in respect to live music, unless the licensing authority through a licensing review Hearing states otherwise. Therefore no conditions are in place until a licensing panel is convinced that they are required as part of a review brought to them. If live music is performed in premises which are not licensed for the sale of alcohol, the Act provides that it will not be Regulated Entertainment if it is unamplified and takes place between 8.00am and 11.00pm. Amplified live music in such premises will still require a premises licence or a Temporary Event Notice.

In addition the Act removes the provision of facilities for making music and dancing from the definition of 'regulated entertainment'. This would mean that providing a dance floor would now be exempt, as would providing a piano for guests to play.

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 is now law. It received Royal assent on 15th September 2011 and many of the measures came into effect from 25 April 2012. Parts of the Act will be brought in through legislative changes to the Licensing Act 2003 and some will be brought in through changes made to the Section 182 Guidance.

The measures intended for implementation on 25 April 2012 are as follows:

Responsible Authorities
The Licensing Authority will become a Responsible Authority for premises and club premises applications and will have the power to refuse, remove or review a licence without representation from the Police or other responsible authority.

Primary Care Trusts and Local Health Boards will also join the list of Responsible Authorities and will be able to make representations regarding licensing application and apply for reviews, even though the licensing objectives have not been revised to include health.

Interested Parties
The term 'interested parties' has been replaced by ‘any other person’, meaning that anyone can voice objections regardless of geographic vicinity; however any such objection must relate to one or more of the licensing objectives. 

Notification of applications will be the responsibility of the Licensing Authority
The Secretary of State will be required to make changes to the Licensing Act Regulations 2005 requiring the licensing authority to advertise applications 'in a manner which is prescribed and is likely to bring the application to the attention of the persons who are likely to be affected by it'. At present neither the Act nor the Regulations impose any duty on a licensing authority to advertise an application or to take any steps to notify anyone affected by an application that it has been made; the sole duty to advertise and to give notice is placed on the person making the application.

This will change under the proposed reforms, with new regulations requiring a Licensing Authority to advertise the application in a way which ensures that it comes to the attention of everyone in the Licensing Authority’s area whom it may affect.

Determination of applications
'Necessary' has been replaced with 'appropriate' in relation to the steps a licensing authority may take when determining applications / requests for review.

Temporary Event Notices
The Police and Environmental Health Officers will be able to object to TENS where they consider that the proposed activities are likely to undermine a licensing objective.

Conditions may be applied to TENS if the authority considers it appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives to do so, providing the conditions are also imposed on a premises licence or club premises certificate that has effect in respect of the same premises, or any part of the same premises, as the temporary event notice, and the conditions would not be inconsistent with the carrying out of the licensable activities under the temporary event notice.

Time limits relating to TENS have been relaxed, including the duration of activities which will increase from 96 hours to 168 hours.

Sanctions for persistently selling alcohol to children
The fine for persistent underage sales doubles from £10,000 to £20,000, and the new legislation makes it easier to shut down businesses found to be persistently selling alcohol to those under 18.

The new legislation also increases the period of voluntary closure, as an alternative to a fine, from 48 to 336 hours.

Licence fees
Premises licences and club premises certificates will be suspended on failure to pay the annual licence fee, although exceptions are built in to allow for administrative error, disputes and a 'grace period'.

Subject to ministerial approval, the licensing authority will have the power to set fees on a cost-recovery basis. The costs may also include the costs of acting as other responsible authorities under the Act, e.g. planning authority. However, there will be a consultation on this matter and the minister has indicated that the new fee structure is unlikely to fully take effect until 2013.

Licensing Policies
Licensing Policy Statements will be reviewable every 5 years.

Alcohol Disorder Zones
Alcohol Disorder Zones will be repealed.

CCTV in Pubs - Guidance

The information Commissioners Office has created a fact sheet and Frequently Asked Questions regarding the employment of Closed Circuit TV in pubs [PDF 25KB]. The IOC has also published their own Guidance on CCTV in Pubs [PDF 21KB] and viewpoint on the installation of CCTV in licensed premises  as a licence condition. 

Age Verification Policy

On 1 October 2010, the two remaining new mandatory conditions come into force. Further details on these conditions are set out below in 'Mandatory Conditions'. There is also a model age verification policy to download. The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.

This must as a minimum require individuals who appear to the responsible person to be under the age of 18 years of age to produce on request (before being served alcohol) identification bearing their photograph, date of birth, and a holographic mark.  Examples of acceptable ID include photo card driving licences, passports or proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram, although other forms of ID which meet the criteria laid out above are also acceptable.

The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that staff (in particular staff who are involved in the supply of alcohol) are made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy applied by the premises. This condition does not exclude best practice schemes such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 which require individuals who appear to be under an age which is greater than 18 to provide ID. The condition only applies in situations where the sale takes place face to face. Companies that sell alcohol remotely (e.g. online or by mail order) should operate an age verification policy, but as the transaction takes place remotely the condition does not ordinarily require photo ID to be shown at the point of delivery. As long as age verification has taken place already via another means, these transactions will meet the requirement of the condition.

An example Age Verification Policy [PDF 16 KB] is available to download.

Dealing with alcohol related problems

The practical guide to preventing and dealing with alcohol related problems is designed as a reference and source of help for residents, community groups, enforcement officers, licensing practitioners and all who have an interest in alcohol licensing. See the Home Office Guidance [PDF 652KB].

Current Licensing applications

For all new premises licence applications and variations under the Licensing Act 2003 in the Borough of Erewash please see our Current Applications.

For information on premises licence transfers and Variations to the Designated Premises Supervisor in 2012, please see our  Public Register.

Licensed Premises and Litter

Concerns have been raised regarding the level of discarded litter including smoking-related litter such as cigarette ends, cigars and like products within the Borough and in particular the level of litter in the town centres where there are a higher number of licensed premises. Whilst it is by no means assumed that the licensing trade is entirely responsible for the litter in the town centres but an accumulation of cigarette ends outside a pub or club or food/drink packaging outside takeaway premises could be seen as sufficient evidence to link the litter directly to a particular licensed premise.

We are therefore seeking the licensing trades' co-operation in combating this issue and hope that wherever possible you would assist by providing cigarette and litter bins outside your premises for your customers. The cumulative effects of litter in the vicinity of premises carrying on licensable activities can cause public nuisance and your Premises Licence may already contain enforceable conditions relating to your responsibilities so please check your licence as you may already be legally required to monitor the situation or provide litter bins.

Under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection 1990 it is an offence to throw down, drop or otherwise deposit and then leave litter in a public place.  Authorised officers of the Council have powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £75.00 to anyone observed committing an offence of littering.

Guidance on gambling on licensed premises

The Gambling Act 2005 has made many changes to the legislation regarding gambling on licensed premises. This will affect the playing of popular games such as Poker and bingo on alcohol-licensed premises. Under certain circumstances gambling may still be permitted, but only for certain stakes and prizes. Please click on the links provided below to download a guidance documents from the Gambling Commission for gambling on licensed premises.