Oldham licensees still without certificates

Related tags License Oldham council

Oldham council has yet to issue a single premise licence certificate, eight months after the legislation came into place.The council is blaming...

Oldham council has yet to issue a single premise licence certificate, eight months after the legislation came into place.

The council is blaming continuing computer problems for the hitch, which has left licensees without their required certificates. Meanwhile licensees are being reminded that without the certificate they're breaking the law.

Kathryn Harton manager of the Dog and Partridge Inn said: "We've had to wait because they've said the computers are down, but it's been months and we keep being reminded that we need to display a certificate. The licensing officer does go to the Pubwatch meetings and keeps saying they'll get it sorted out, but they'll have a huge backlog when they do."

Alan Hinsley, licensee at the Buck and Union, said that he had heard nothing about the council's progress on the matter. He said: "We haven't received any certificate even though we applied and were granted ours last year. They say that it's because of problems their end. We've had no updates and heard nothing about what's going on."

John Garforth, principal licensing officer at Oldham council said: "We've had several months of working with both internal and software troubleshooters to correct the technical and IT difficulties and it was fixed yesterday, so we can now start inputting data."

He added: "We appreciate that it's been a major problem for licensees and we've tried to help them by keeping them updated through Pubwatch schemes and writing letters for those who wanted it in writing."

Lee LeClerq, regional secretary of the Northern branch of the British Beer and Pub Association said that such a delay was unacceptable and the council should have been better prepared. He said: "Given that it's nearly a year since the licensing changes went through, it is astonishing that Oldham have not issued a single license certificate yet. We understand that they have experienced difficulties with software but Oldham has had plenty of time and just how long does it take to install a working system? Licensing fees paid by licensees will have already accumulated to £120,000. They have the right to demand a better service than this."

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