Two in bar' to be scrapped

Related tags Premises License

QWhere existing licensed premises, which do not have a PEL, have taken advantage of the "two in a bar rule" and wish to provide similar entertainment...

QWhere existing licensed premises, which do not have a PEL, have taken advantage of the "two in a bar rule" and wish to provide similar entertainment under the new Act, will they be able to do so by way of a simple grandfather rights conversion (Part A)? Or, will they have to make a simultaneous variation of the premises licence application (Part B) to retain this right?

AThis question is just one of many I have received on the problems of conversion of existing activities. There are a number of examples where activities are currently unlicensed or exempt but which become "licenseable activities" under the new system and so require to be included on the premises licence.

However, on the question of small-scale entertainment, this point is clearly covered in Schedule 8 of the 2003 Act, which deals with transitional arrangements. Although having up to two performers is specifically allowed without an entertainment licence under the exemption provided by section 182 of the 1964 Licensing Act, the schedule provides that it is to be disregarded in relation to "existing licenseable activities". I take this to mean that the exemption will not operate for the purposes of transition, so that permitting live entertainment by up to two performers cannot be counted as part of the existing licence. This means that a variation, using Part B, has to be completed if live entertainment is to be continued after the Second Appointed Day.

That being the case, there is no requirement on the variation form to stop at two. As the "two in a bar" concession is to be scrapped, it will not be necessary to stipulate the number of performers in future.

Refusal to leave premises

QWe have a local arrangement to ban troublemakers, but one of our members has taken issue with one of the reasons for a ban ­ refusal to leave premises. He says this is not a criminal offence, so should not be included. What is your view?

ARefusal to leave licensed premises when instructed by the licensee, his agent or a member of staff in charge of the premises, or a police constable, is a criminal offence under section 174 of the Licensing Act 1964.

The demand to leave must be based on drunk, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly conduct, however, according to the terms of the Act. A simple dispute between the landlord and a customer, which results in the licensee refusing to serve him and telling him to leave, is not in itself a justification for a multi-pub ban. There must be an incident where the customer will not quit the premises, or becomes aggressive or violent, and the police have to be called.

Of course, the licensee retains the right to refuse to serve anyone he does not like, and refusal to leave in those circumstances could be interpreted as "quarrelsome" anyway. I do not think the LVA poster is technically wrong.

Juniors in members clubs

QOur new bar steward says that we must never allow members under 18 to drink any form of alcohol, even shandy, in the bar. Our 16-year-old youth team has a jug of shandy after matches. Is he right?

AThe law in registered members' clubs is different. The prohibition on consumption of alcohol currently applies to the bar of licensed premises, not to the premises of a members' club.

Therefore it is not illegal for under-18s to consume alcohol unless the rules specifically prohibit it. But be aware that when the new law takes over, consumption of alcohol by under-18s will be banned throughout pubs and clubs.

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