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Licensing helpline launched

21 July 2005
Licensing helpline launched

A new licensing helpline will be launched next week in a bid to speed-up the low licence application rate.

The helpline is backed by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Local Government Association and Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS).

Chairman of LACORS councilor Geoffrey Theobald said: "We are concerned that so many businesses still have not yet applied for a licence. Traders who don't now what to do can use this new service to help… businesses should not delay or they risk losing the ability to trade."

With current premises application rates in England and Wales resting at just 30% of qualifying businesses, trade bodies and authorities alike now fear thousands will miss the 6 August conversion deadline.

Businesses that miss the deadline will have to start their applications from scratch, advertising their intentions and opening themselves up to challenge from various groups such as residents.

Any business that does not have a valid licence when the new licensing laws start - on 24 November - will be unable to sell alcohol, put on regulated entertainment or sell hot food or drink after 11pm.

From Monday 25 July operators with a query about licensing can phone 020 7072 7447 or e-mail licensing@lga.gov.uk.

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