In its submission the local authority quoted extracts from the story “Pub trade hits out at Government proposals to scrap personal licences”, saying it “potentially de-values professionalism and responsibility”.
It also quoted statements from BII (British institute of Innkeeping) chief executive Tim Hulme, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls and trade consultant Phil Dixon, which were included in the PMA story and who are all opposed to the Government’s proposals.
The Council criticised that the Home Office consultation document “does not explain or clarify how the Government proposes to maintain the validity and responsibility of the DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor)”.
It added that the licensing authority officers do not believe that abolishing the system would strengthen existing legislation, promote the licensing objectives or save licensed businesses money by cutting red tape and bureaucracy.
It also said it was unclear how abolishing the requirement to hold a Personal Licence would result in promoting awareness of the licensing law and wider social responsibilities associated with the sale of alcohol.
Change in legislation
It suggested that instead of getting rid of the licence, there should be a change to the legislation so if a licence is due for its ten year renewal the holder can apply for a new ten year licence with the local authority in the area they are now residing in. Currently personal licence holders apply for a new licence from the authority that granted them their original licence.
It stated: “The Committee is advised that in the view of its officers, this proposal potentially de-values the professionalism and responsibility of the licensed trade (the significant majority of which do sell and promote alcohol in a responsible way) and works against a partnership approach of tackling the problems of alcohol related crime and disorder and public nuisance.
“It is also likely to increase costs for businesses because responsible authorities may have no other resource than to seek training and criminal records checks for staff working in licensed premises through the use of premises licence review applications or on new or variation applications and as a result lead to further appeals to Court and a commensurate increase in time and costs for all parties concerned.”
In a PMA survey, 89% of readers said the Government should not scrap personal licences.