Fears Government delay could lead to publicans losing their licences

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal licence holders License

BII chief executive, Tim Hulme, has urged publicans to check the date of their licences
BII chief executive, Tim Hulme, has urged publicans to check the date of their licences
Publicans are being urged to ensure that their personal licences are up to date after the Home Office admitted that future legislation to abolish renewals may not be enacted until next March/April.

The proposal to remove the need to renew personal licences is included in the Deregulation Bill which still has several stages to go through before being granted Royal Assent.

The Home Office has confirmed that the timescales of processing the bill meant that there were likely to be “some personal licence holders who will need to renew their licence before the changes take effect”.

Currently licences last for 10 years but holders are required to submit a valid renewal application up to three months before, but no less than a month before, the expiry date.

It means some holders who were issued with licences in February 2005 will be required to apply for a renewal as early as December 2014.

An application for renewal costs around £50 and will require a disclosure of criminal convictions certificate, which currently takes up to two weeks to get, as well a copy of the current personal licence or a statement of the reasons why it has been misplaced, together with two photographs of the applicant endorsed by a person with a professional qualification.

“There is no certainty as to when it [the bill] will be law and become effective, therefore operators need to be on their guard that at least some personal licence renewals will be required during at least the early part of 2015,” licensing expert John Gaunt, co-founder of John Gaunt & Partners said.


Andy Grimsey, from licensing law firm Poppleston Allen, said: “My great fear is that there will be licensees who have heard that the Government is abolishing the need to renew but are unaware of the transitional problems.  This could lead to a failure to renew in time and, where there is only one licence-holder at the pub, the inability to sell alcohol. The trade needs urgent Government guidance now.”

Tim Hulme, chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), said: “It is very important that all personal licence holders check the date of issue on their licences right now to ensure they don’t miss their renewal deadline and face losing their licence or risk have their premises closed.”

The Home Office said it was establishing the “best way of handling transitional arrangements” and would publish specific guidance later this year.

Related topics Licensing law

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