Licensing Law

New Alcohol Code to be Introduced this Year image

New Alcohol Code to be Introduced this Year

29th January 2010

New Alcohol Code to be Introduced this Year to Call Time on Binge Drinking Culture

Mandatory Licensing Conditions designed to reduce binge drinking culture in England and Wales will come into force later this year according to a recent Government announcement.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, is still to confirm the final details of the Code.  However it is designed to tackle drink related crime and disorder that is estimated to cost the United Kingdom between £8 billion and £13 billion per year.

Pub owners who breach the Code could face extra conditions, the risk of losing their licence as well as fines of up to £20,000 and even 6 months in prison.

The new mandatory conditions will include the following:-

  • A ban on ‘irresponsible’ promotions such as “all you can drink for £10”, woman drink for free deals, speed drinking competitions and “Dentist’s Chairs”.
  • Ensuring that free tap water is available.
  • Ensuring that all those who sell alcohol check the identity of anyone who looks under 18.
  • Ensuring that establishments make available a choice between a single and double measure of spirits and a small and large glass of wine.

However a ban on the bulk discounting of alcohol by shops and supermarkets that led to Police complaints that lager is being sold more cheaply than water has been dropped from the Code.  The Government did admit that there were issues (around rock bottom cheap alcohol) but has rules out a compulsory minimum pricing in England and Wales by stating “it would not at this stage be sensible”.

It is believed that the Code is to be introduced in two stages during this year.  The first stage will come into effect on 6th April and will cover the ban on promotions, drinking games and the provision of free tap water.  The second stage will come into effect on 1st October, and will cover issues relating to smaller measures and age checks.

Licensing Partner Daven Naghen commented as follows:-

“For many this Code is considered long overdue.  Licensees should make sure that they are fully aware of the new codes as and when they come into force.  If Licensees do not comply with the Code, as well as running the risk of losing their Licence they could also face criminal prosecution (and a possible large fine and/or jail sentence).”

For further details on the new Alcohol Code please log on to our website for updates.

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Licensing Law image

Licensing Law

19th July 2017

What are the Licensing Objectives?

The Licensing Objectives are the 4 key elements that all Licensing Decisions will have regard to.

The Licensing Objectives are:
The prevention of crime and disorder;
Public safety;
The prevention of public nuisance; and
The protection of children from harm.

What is a Premises Licence?

This is a Licence that covers the actual Premises. If the Premises are sold or transferred the Premises Licence will remain although there will need to be an application to change the Premises Licence Holder. The Licence will detail things such as opening hours and any conditions upon the Licence. A Premises Licence is required if the Premises undertake any licensable activity such as the supply of alcohol, the supply of hot food after 11pm or the provision of regulated entertainment.

What is a Personal Licence?

The system is split into 2 parts with a Licence for individuals as well as for the Premises. For a Premises to supply alcohol they will need a Designated Premises Supervisor who will need to hold a Personal Licence. Any person who is over 18 and who has passed an accredited licensing qualification may apply to the Licensing Authority for the area in which they reside for a Personal Licence. It is normally expected that they have no convictions for a relevant offence.

What is the Designated Premises Supervisor?

The Designated Premises Supervisor (often shortened to DPS) is named on the Premises Licence and must hold a Personal Licence. They are the person who is responsible for the day to day control of the Premises. They are the ones who will be held responsible for any failings and so could be prosecuted for allowing the supply of alcohol to a person under 18 even if they were not present when the sale or supply took place.

Must the DPS always be present?

No. They are expected to be in control and to know their responsibilities but they need not always be present. Indeed it is possible to be DPS on more than one Premises Licence. It will be expected that the DPS has ensured that all staff have been trained and are aware of their responsibilities.

What happens if a DPS is convicted of an offence?

It will depend on the nature of the conviction and the punishment imposed but the Personal Licence may be revoked. We would strongly advise that you seek immediate legal advice if you are a DPS who is arrested or charged with any offence.

Can we change the hours or conditions on the Premises Licence?

Yes it is possible to apply to extend the hours by making an application to vary the Premises Licence. Often Premises have accepted shorter hours or onerous conditions as a compromise to ensure that the initial Licence was granted as soon as possible. The application process is similar to applying for a new Premises Licence and so it must be advertised and there will be a 28 day period in which responsible authorities such as the police, trading standards and certain departments of the local council may object. Other interested parties such as local residents may also object. If there are no objections the variation should be granted. If there are objections there may be discussions as to whether a compromise can be reached but if not the matter will be heard by the Licensing Authority. The application will have in mind the 4 Licensing Objectives and any decision will have to have regard to these. It may be the case that an extension of hours may be agreed if other conditions are met such as minimum staffing levels, provision of CCTV or agreement to provide SIA registered Door Supervisors.

Should you have any query in respect of Licensing matters please do not hesitate to contact us on 01775 722261 or email to daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com

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Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing? image

Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing?

WHO WILL YOU BE ENTRUSTING WITH YOUR CONVEYANCING WORK?  THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Are the selling agents or perhaps the mortgage broker pushing or trying to persuade you to use a particular conveyancing firm? If so, we would strongly recommend that you ask the following pertinent questions so that, armed with all relevant facts, you are better able to make a reasoned decision:-

Why?

Are the agents receiving a kickback or referral payment from the firm concerned? Using a firm in cahoots with an estate agency inevitably leads to a potential conflict of interest. Will such firm be working in your best interests or simply those of the introducer? Here at Maples we pride ourselves on being completely independent and we consider the idea of a referral fee both abhorrent and unethical. We much prefer to obtain our work based on past performance and recommendation.

How Much?

Do not be misled by a seemingly attractive basic figure initially quoted but be sure to enquire about and read the small print for add ons for so called “extras” (such as mortgage costs, preparation of a stamp duty land tax return, telegraphic transfer fees and the like) which suddenly spring up at a later date and only become apparent in the firm’s final statement. Ensure that you are comparing like for like. Here at Maples, we give you a complete and all inclusive rundown of our professional charges and all disbursements at the outset, with no hidden extras.

Where?

Is the firm local or, as is more likely, based in a completely different part of the country? If the latter, then the transaction will, without a doubt, be dealt with by post, phone or email and lack any personal contact. Here at Maples we are fully accessible, like to meet our clients to discuss and advise upon the transaction face to face and share with you the benefit of our wealth of local knowledge and experience.

Who?

Will you actually be aware as to who will be dealing with the matter for you or will you simply be a reference or matter number at the end of a phone in a firm dealing with volume conveyancing? Here at Maples, you will be assigned to your own experienced and dedicated conveyancer who will be responsible for and deal with the transaction for you from beginning to end, with a high level of personal service throughout.

Making a hasty and bad appointment could seriously prejudice or delay your transaction and cost you dearly. Getting honest answers to these four simple questions at the outset could make all the difference.

To discuss any Conveyancing matters please contact either Claire Smith or Anita Zaborniak of our Conveyancing Team or telephone the office 01775 722261.

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Testimonials

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"I felt the service I got from Maples was excellent and was very honest all through the process. I would recommend Maples as a first class Solicitors group"

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.