Licensing sub-committees public participation scheme

Last Updated: 15 March 2021

Public participation at Licensing sub-committees regarding specific licensing applications

Licensing sub-committee

In general, the applicant for a licence will be allowed to speak at a hearing in line with the agreed protocol for hearings. In addition, responsible authorities or 'other persons' who make valid representations within the consultation period (28 days for a premises licence) will also be allowed to speak to outline their representation or objection to the application.

'Other persons' must give five working days’ notice to the Licensing Manager before the hearing in question if they intend to speak at a hearing. 'Other persons' may be represented if they so wish but must inform the Public Health and Licensing Manager in writing if they wish someone else to speak on their behalf. Five working days’ notice must be provided in writing by the applicant or other person to the Public Health and Licensing Manager pursuant to The Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005.

'Other persons' includes any individual, body or business entitled to make representations to licensing authorities in relation to applications for the grant, variation, minor variation or review of premises licences and club premises certificates, regardless of their geographic proximity to the premises. In addition, these persons may themselves seek a review of a premises licence. Any representations made by these persons must be ‘relevant’, in that the representation relates to one or more of the licensing objectives. It must also not be considered by the licensing authority to be frivolous or vexatious. In the case of applications for reviews, there is an additional requirement that the grounds for the review should not be considered by the licensing authority to be repetitious.

Any of these individuals or groups may specifically request a representative to make their representation on their behalf eg a legal representative, a friend, a Member of Parliament, a local ward councillor, could act in such a capacity.

However, a local ward councillor who was also a member of the Licensing Committee and who is making a representation on behalf of the other person would be expected not to take part or have any involvement with the decision-making process.

'Responsible authorities' include public bodies that must be fully notified of applications and that are entitled to make representations to the licensing authority in relation to the application for the grant, variation or review of a premise licence.

All representations made by responsible authorities are relevant representations if they concern the effect of the application on the licensing objectives. For all premises, these include our Licensing Department, the Strategic Health Authority, the Chief Officer of Police, the local Fire Authority, the local enforcement agency for the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the local authority with responsibility for environmental health, the local planning authority, any body that represents those who are responsible for, or interest in, matters relating to the protection of children from harm and is recognised by the licensing authority as being competent to advise it on such matters and the local trading standards authority.

The use of social media, filming, videoing, photographing or recording of council meetings or other meetings which are open to the public is allowed, subject to the conditions of the Protocol governing the use of mobile phones, social media, filming and recording at meetings.

The use of social media in formal meetings is permitted for members of the public, press and councillors, so long as this does not cause any disruption or disturbance. The Chairman’s decision on this point is final.

To minimise disruption to others attending the meeting, all attendees including councillors must ensure that their phone or other mobile devices are switched off or set to silent mode during the meeting.

Procedures for Hearings in relation to licensing applications can be obtained from the Public Health and Licensing Manager.

Note: There is no public participation at Licensing Regulatory Sub-Committee meetings which are hearing taxi and private hire vehicles, and applications made under the Gambling Act 2005.