A further training course regarding the new licensing regime, the Licensing Act 2003, and the decision-making process was recently provided for Merton’s Councillors by three leading licensing lawyers.
During the course, reference was made to the current practices of 5 other London Local Authorities. It was apparent from the anecdotal references and operational procedures of these other Councils that Merton’s Licensing Service has provided and continues to provide a very high level of service.
In addition, it was clear that Merton’s Licensing Policy Statement is robust and
Councillors’ decisions on contested matters are to be commended. Since the introduction of the new licensing regime and the Council becoming responsible for the licensing of premises and persons selling or supplying alcohol, there have only been 13 appeals against the decisions of Merton’s Licensing Sub-Committee.
Operators or local residents have lodged the appeals.
Four of those appeals were withdrawn; three subject to an out of court settlement, four successfully defended by the Council and two are yet to be heard. Furthermore, the Council has not received very many complaints and there has only been one request from the Metropolitan Police for a review of a premises licence.
The Solicitor and two Barristers have more than 60 years legal experience and are recognised experts in their field. The lawyers are familiar with Merton’s Licensing Policy Statement and the procedures to be followed at Licensing Sub-Committee hearings.