Harrogate Borough Council has launched a public consultation to gauge opinion on the council’s licensing policy.
As the Licensing Authority, the council are responsible for licensing the sale and supply of alcohol and are legally required to review their Statement of Licensing Policy at least every five years. The present policy was adopted in December 2010. The policy sets the principles the Licensing Authority proposes to apply when exercising its functions under the Licensing Act 2003.
The council is seeking the views of businesses involved in the licensed trade together with those people who are affected by the policy such as the district’s residents or other businesses. The council is particularly interested in hearing from residents’ associations.
The council’s draft Statement of Licensing Policy can be viewed at all local libraries (including mobile libraries), from the council’s Crescent Gardens offices in Harrogate, and on the internet at http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/pp/Documents/2014-Statement-of-Licensing-Policy-draft.pdf
The policy covers the management of licensable activities including the introduction of better regulation to give businesses more freedom to meet customers’ expectations; creating greater choice for consumers; encouraging more family friendly premises; developing live music, dance and theatre; ensuring public safety; and preventing crime and disorder.
Councillor John Ennis, Chairman of the Licensing Committee said: The Licensing Policy is not just concerned with the consumption of alcohol, it also relates to a wide range of activities including theatres, cinemas, takeaways and other forms of entertainment. As such we are keen to hear from as many people as possible to get their opinion on this issue.
The consultation will also gauge public opinion on the number of pubs, restaurants and nightclubs in the district, the hours which they operate, and whether improvements can be made to the night time taxi service.
Recently the council has received an increasing number of comments about the effects of late night alcohol and entertainment in the district’s town centres.
In view of this, we are particularly interested in hearing people’s views on combating anti-social behaviour, through new powers such as restricting the hours for the sale of alcohol or introducing a Late Night Levy, which would allow the council to collect an annual fee from all licensed premises as a means of raising a contribution towards the cost of policing.
Jeremy Ambrose of Pubwatch said: I think that the abundance of licensed premises in Harrogate has brought a lot more tourism to the town and that is great for the local economy.
I also believe that the town is saturated and the consultation for a possible cumulative impact zone can only be a strong move to consolidate the position of existing businesses and also safeguard the promotion of public nuisance within Harrogate.
I welcome the consultation and so do the Pubwatch members.
The Licensing Policy Review consultation is available to complete on the council’s website at: http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/cpi/Pages/Have-your-say.aspx For further information or to request a hard copy please call 01423 500600
Alternatively comments can be submitted in writing to Licensing, Safer Communities, Harrogate Borough Council, PO Box 787, HARROGATE, HG1 9RW or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for responses is Sunday 14 December 2014.