Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Crime and Policing has written to local authority Licensing Committee Chairs across England and Wales.
The letter recognises the enormous disruption to businesses, public services and individuals across the country and urges local authorities to keep the licensing system operational through remote licensing hearings, and temporary measures to address concerns around advertising of applications.
The letter also points out that local authorities have discretion when considering non-payment or late payment of annual fees and that licensing authorities can delay any suspensions where businesses are experiencing difficulties as a direct result of COVID-19.
Local authorities are also encouraged to take a considered and pragmatic approach to breaches of licence conditions and procedural defects caused by the pandemic, particularly where such breaches or defects do not have a significant adverse effect on the licensing objectives.
Read the letter here.
Fleet BID has asked Hart District Council to confirm how this will be applied in Hart and whether they will be introducing any new licensing guidelines.
The Letter was released by the Institute of Licensing (news article here).