Government ‘clarification' fails to make personal licence holder rules clear

26 June 2006
Government ‘clarification' fails to make personal licence holder rules clear

New licensing guidance has failed to clarify whether alcohol can be served while the personal licence holder is off-site.

The ambiguity over the law has led some councils to insist that a personal licence holder is on the premises at all times.

AlthoughTourism Minister Shaun Woodward has said personal licence holders shouldn't be expected to be on site at all times, experts warn the clarification doesn't go far enough.

Jeremy Allen, senior partner at licensing solicitor Poppleston Allen, said: "This new guidance still leaves the issue up in the air."

The problem is that despite stating personal licence holders don't need to be present at all times, the Government hasn't said how often they can be away from their business or how long, stating, instead, it "would, ultimately, be a matter for the court to determine".

Allen suggested personal licence holders could best protect themselves by issuing written authorisation for a staff member to deputise in their absence and by putting staff through the personal licence exam.

Huntingdonshire hotelier Nick Steiger, who runs the seven-bedroom Grange hotel in Brampton, was told by his council last year that a personal licence holder would have to be present at all times.

Although his local council no longer insists on his continual presence, it still demands notification if he was away for more than a day or two.

"Under the old licensing regime I was responsible for what happened on the premises even if I was not in the building - why should that change?" said Steiger.

Applications for late licensing >>

Alcohol related disorder keeps UK drinkers at home >>

Publicans stock up as England expects for World Cup >>

By Angela Frewin

Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week -

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking