Oxfordshire Director of Legal

Al Fresco eating and drinking under the Business and Planning Bill 2020

Through the Business and Planning Bill 2020, introduced this week, the government is looking to simplify and reduce the costs of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls. Gary Grant analyses the licensing aspects of the legislation. Read more
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  NEWS

Jun 10, 2020

Borough council to accelerate applications for temporary changes to use of public areas and private land

Cheltenham Borough Council is understood to have become one of the first local authorities in the country to accelerate applications for temporary changes to the use of public areas and private land.
May 22, 2020

Licensing sub-committee revokes premises licence for breach of lockdown regulations

The Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee at City of Wolverhampton Council has revoked the premises licence of a pub for breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.
May 14, 2020

Blind entrepreneur to bring legal action against Uber over refusals

A blind social entrepreneur is bring a legal challenge against ride-hailing company Uber after more than 100 refusals to pick him and his guide dog up.
May 14, 2020

Government launches taskforce on how pubs and restaurants can reopen safely

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to lead a new ministerial-led taskforce for pubs and restaurants that will develop plans on how and when the sector can reopen safely.
May 12, 2020

Pub hit with prohibition order “after drinkers found in cellar”

A pub landlord who breached coronavirus regulations a reported eight times since the end of March has been served a prohibition notice by North West Leicestershire District Council.
Apr 30, 2020

Pub hit with prohibition notice after licensing teams found it open for business, customers said to be "hiding in cupboards"

South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield City Council have served a prohibition notice on a pub they alleged was open despite coronavirus restrictions.
Apr 23, 2020

Public Accounts Committee to hold inquiry on problem gambling and regulation

The influential Public Accounts Committee is to conduct an inquiry into problem gambling, beginning by questioning officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Gambling Commission on Monday (27 April) on how well the current regulatory framework protects gamblers.
Apr 17, 2020

MP brings bill to introduce licensing of pedicabs

The MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken, is to introduce a 10-minute rule bill in an attempt to introduce the regulation of pedicabs when Parliament reconvenes on April 21st.
Apr 14, 2020

LGA issues information note on how councils can manage licensing issues during coronavirus outbreak

The Local Government Association has published an information note setting out how issues raised by councils’ licensing teams and others might be managed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr 08, 2020

Home Office Minister calls for licensing hearings to proceed “wherever possible”

Licensing hearings should proceed “wherever possible” even though regulations allow for many of them to be deferred during the period of social distancing, the Minister of State for Crime and Policing has said.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

June 05, 2020

The outdoor café campaign

Philip Kolvin QC looks at a potential solution to the challenge of allowing outside drinking as premises look to recover from lockdown.
May 28, 2020

Recent developments in additional and selective licensing

Tara O'Leary discusses some of the implications of the COVID-19 emergency for licensing litigation and summarises several important decisions which have emerged during a very productive period at the courts and tribunals.
May 20, 2020

Pubs and the lockdown regulations

A pub licence has been revoked at a summary review hearing for breaking lockdown regulations. Gary Grant reports.
May 13, 2020

COVID's Metamorphoses: the future of the social economy

Philip Kolvin QC and Alicia Scholer consider the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the future of the social economy.
May 12, 2020

Gambling and advertising controls

Jeremy Phillips QC examines the move to online gambling and the development of advertising and player controls during lockdown.
May 04, 2020

Late night levy in lockdown

This year, pub, club and restaurant owners will be paying a late night levy for premises they cannot open because of the lockdown. Philip Kolvin QC and Clare Eames explore two solutions.
April 09, 2020

Coronavirus restrictions: local authority enforcement powers

The powers of local authority officers to enforce restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak are narrower than you might think, argues Horatio Waller.
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March 23, 2020

Virtual local authority meetings

Amendments to the Coronavirus Bill will rule out uncertainty over whether local authority meetings can be held online, writes Charles Holland.

  MORE NEWS

Apr 03, 2020

Institute of Licensing issues protocol for licence applications and hearings under Licensing Act 2003 during COVID-19 pandemic

The Institute of Licensing has published a Protocol designed to assist licensing authorities in complying with their obligations and duties under the Licensing Act 2003 during this emergency period.
Apr 02, 2020

Council and police shut pub that held lock in during lockdown

Ashfield District Council has used its powers working with Nottinghamshire Police to shut a pub under new rules introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, after the licence holder held a lock in at her pub.
Apr 02, 2020

Council wins appeal over tribunal ruling requiring it to issue caravan site licence

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) acted irrationally and put a council in an impossible position when it ordered it to issue a caravan site licence, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has decided.
Mar 30, 2020

Leading licensing QC appointed associate fellow at University of Westminster

The University of Westminster’s Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture has appointed Philip Kolvin QC as an Associate Fellow.
Mar 18, 2020

Pubs and restaurants to be allowed to serve takeaways as part of coronavirus response

The Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks, as part of plans to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
Feb 28, 2020

Gambling Commission is “a small regulator in a huge and fast-evolving industry”, warns spending watchdog

Even if the Gambling Commission were to make recommended improvements, it is “a small body that is unlikely to be fully effective in regulating a challenging and fast-changing industry within the current system”, the National Audit Office has warned.
Feb 24, 2020

Government to consult on new duty requiring owners and operators to protect public spaces and venues from terror

The Home Office will consult this spring on a proposed “Protect Duty” which would require owners and operators of public spaces and venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack.
Feb 13, 2020

Institute of Licensing rejects criticism of its guidance on determining suitability of applicants for taxi/PHV licences

The Institute of Licensing has defended its guidance on determining the suitability of applicants for taxi and private hire licences amid claims from the industry that it is unfair.
Feb 03, 2020

Centre for Public Scrutiny to examine role of scrutiny in improving approaches to tackling gambling harms

The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) has issued a call for evidence as part of a new research project aimed at improving the scrutiny of activity to tackle gambling harms.
Feb 03, 2020

Woods Whur hires licensing specialist Skeens as consultant

Specialist licensing and regulatory law firm Woods Whur has hired Julian Skeens as a consultant in its London office.
Jan 15, 2020

Council prosecution sees nightclub and operators sentenced following customer death

A company that operated a former nightclub where a customer died in a fall, has been ordered to pay £24,000 in fines and costs.
Jan 08, 2020

City council implements ‘Martyn’s Law’ on security at public venues, calls on government to introduce legislation

Manchester City Council is to enshrine the principles of ‘Martyn’s Law’, which is intended to improve security at public venues, into its future regulations.
Dec 12, 2019

London borough first in UK to strip pub of gaming machines permit for allowing children to play on them

Redbridge Council is understood to have become the first local authority in the country to strip a pub of its gaming machine licence after it repeatedly failed to stop children playing on them.
Dec 11, 2019

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal by council over bid to include cost of supervising driver conduct in fees for taxi and PHV vehicle licences

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a council’s appeal over whether it acted unlawfully when it resolved to fix the fees for vehicle licences for taxis and private hire vehicles at an amount which included recovery of all or part of the cost of supervising the conduct of drivers licensed to drive such vehicles.
Dec 09, 2019

Council defeats appeal by taxi driver over revocation of licence

Guildford Borough Council has successfully defended in the Magistrates’ Court its decision to revoke the licence of a hackney carriage driver.
Dec 04, 2019

Borough council secures guilty pleas for plying for hire during Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Borough Council has successfully prosecuted five drivers for unlawfully plying for hire during Cheltenham Festival 2019.
Nov 28, 2019

Council takes battle over licensing fees for private hire vehicles and taxis to Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has this week heard an appeal by Wakefield City Council over the High Court’s decision to quash the authority’s decision fixing licensing fees for private hire vehicles and taxis.
Nov 25, 2019

Uber London “not fit and proper” to hold private hire operator licence, TfL concludes

Transport for London (TfL) has decided not to grant Uber London Limited (Uber) a new private hire operator's licence after concluding the company was “not fit and proper”.
Nov 13, 2019

Minimum unit price for alcohol to be introduced in Wales in March 2020 after Assembly approval

The Welsh Government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from 2 March 2020, after regulations were this week approved by the National Assembly for Wales.
Nov 13, 2019

Council defeats appeal by taxi driver over revocation of PHV licence

A borough council has been awarded costs of £3,848 after successfully defending an appeal by a taxi driver over the revocation of his private hire driver’s licence.
Nov 06, 2019

Defendants sentenced for unlicensed dog sales after first prosecution by council under new regulations

Three individuals last month pleaded guilty to selling dogs without a licence following what is believed to be the first prosecution under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
Nov 01, 2019

Councils unable to enforce against unlicensed taxi/PHV drivers because of outdated laws, LGA warns

Outdated legislation and new technology have meant that councils are unable to take enforcement action against the rising number of unlicensed drivers operating in their area, the Local Government Association has warned.
Nov 01, 2019

Landlord ordered to pay £25k+ over unsafe, unlicensed HMOs

A landlord who operated five unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) has been ordered to pay more than £25,000 after a prosecution by the London Borough of Redbridge.
Oct 23, 2019

Council defeats appeal by driver over refusal of taxi or PHV licence for false declaration about pending convictions

A court has upheld a decision by Telford & Wrekin Council not to grant a convicted man a licence to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV).
Oct 07, 2019

North West council defeats legal challenge over revocation of nightclub licence

Oldham Council has successfully defended a decision by its licensing panel to revoke a town centre nightclub after several incidents of disorder.

  MORE FEATURES

March 23, 2020

Closing restaurants, cafes and pubs during COVID-19

Charles Holland analyses the regulations issued by the government for the closure of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other leisure venues during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 18, 2020

Licensing hearings during the coronavirus crisis

Gary Grant, Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Licensing, sets out an alternative legal option for councils to hold remote licensing hearings instead of bringing the whole licensing system to a halt.
March 13, 2020

A broken shield isn’t that useful…

Changes to the Primary Authority scheme are needed if it is to retain its credibility, write Helen Atkinson, Ian Andrews and Joyce-Oyella-Ogaba.
January 24, 2020

Agent of change planning appeals

It is becoming less and less viable to administer either the planning or the licensing regime in a watertight compartment, writes Sarah Clover, after she successfully resisted an agent of change planning appeal.
December 13, 2019

Financing of licensing schemes

The Court of Appeal has held that there is no general legal principle that licensing schemes are intended to be self-financing, write Gerald Gouriet QC, Charles Streeten and Leo Charalambides.
November 14, 2019

Spent convictions, underlying conduct and the 'fit and proper person' test

James Findlay QC and Riccardo Calzavara report on an Upper Tribunal ruling on spent convictions and the ‘fit and proper person’ test for holding a property licence under the Housing Act 2004.
October 11, 2019

The LGA handbook for Licensing Act applications

Paddy Whur examines a handbook produced by the Local Government Association for councillors dealing with licensing applications.
October 04, 2019

Taxi licences, hearsay evidence and risk assessment

A private hire driver has unsuccessfully appealed after a council refused to renew his licence following the receipt of anonymous hearsay evidence. Matt Lewin explains why.
September 27, 2019

Licensing: third party costs orders

In the first High Court judgment on third party costs orders in licensing cases, the High Court has overturned a costs decision of a District Judge. Philip Kolvin QC explains why.
September 20, 2019

Compliance with conditions on a licence – You can’t pick and choose

Paddy Whur looks at the consequences of a failure to comply with the conditions on a premises licence.
July 26, 2019

Making an exception to a cumulative impact policy

Southwark Council recently granted a 3am premises licence for a new live music venue as an exception to its cumulative impact policy. Gary Grant examines the reasons why.
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May 09, 2019

Court finds judge in Uber licensing case was not biased

Philip Kolvin QC examines the High Court’s decision in R (United Cabbies Group) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court to dismiss the claimant’s application for judicial review of a district judge’s grant of an operator’s licence for London private hire vehicles to the third interested party, Uber.
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April 26, 2019

Judicial review proceedings and local authority costs

Following a recent High Court ruling, Butta Singh considers licensing policy, campaigners and the importance of local authorities being able to secure their costs in judicial review proceedings.
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April 18, 2019

Bermondsey Beer Mile appeal dismissed

A district judge has considered whether it was proper for a council, when deciding to refuse a licence varation, to take into account evidence of cumulative impact of a 'beer mile', even though the area might not be subject to a formal cumulative impact policy. Gary Grant analyses the ruling.
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March 22, 2019

Licensing powers to tackle air pollution

Matt Lewin analyses the licensing powers available to licensing authorities to reduce air pollution caused by their taxi fleet.
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March 08, 2019

Taxi and PHV licensing in England

New taxi licensing laws are expected to close the "cross-border" gap. Matt Lewin and Tara O’Leary look at the plans.
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March 01, 2019

Uber, bias and the fit and proper test

The High Court has rejected a challenge to Uber’s London licence that was based on alleged bias and whether the Chief Magistrate had decided whether the company was ‘fit and proper’. Philip Kolvin QC explains why.
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February 22, 2019

London at night

Will London authorities buy into the London Night Time Commission report findings? Paddy Whur looks at its conclusions.
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February 08, 2019

The High Court on the Uber app and plying for hire

The High Court has held that use of the Uber app does not amount to plying for hire. Philip Kolvin QC explains why.
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December 14, 2018

Cross-border hiring

Philip Kolvin QC examines Uber’s successful appeal against Brighton and Hove City Council's refusal of a licence.