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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. Read more
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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.


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.


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.
Sep 13, 2019

High Court rules district judge could make non-party costs award after licensing hearing, but allows appeal over procedure

A district judge hearing a licensing appeal has the power under the Licensing Act 2003 to make a non-party costs award, a High Court judge has ruled.
Aug 21, 2019

London borough to extend local listing protection to 37 pubs

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has extended local listing protection to 37 pubs of historic and cultural significance.
Aug 14, 2019

Council defeats Crown Court appeal by private hire driver over revocation of licence

North Somerset Council, represented by Roy Light of St John’s Chambers, has defeated a Crown Court appeal brought by a driver over its licensing committee’s decision to revoke their licence with immediate effect.
Aug 12, 2019

Council defeats appeal by driver over revocation of licence ahead of trial for conspiracy to supply drugs

A driver due to stand trial for a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs offence in September has failed in a legal challenge to a decision of St Albans City and District Council to revoke his hackney carriage driver’s licence, it has been reported.
Aug 07, 2019

Council prosecution sees taxi driver fined for driving without working licence

A taxi driver has been ordered to pay £772 after he pleaded guilty to driving a taxi without a working licence.
Jul 25, 2019

Mayor of London defeats judicial review claim over removal of exemption from congestion charge for PHV vehicles

A High Court judge has rejected a claim for judicial review of a decision removing the exemption from liability to pay the congestion charge in Central London from private hire vehicles save for those designated as wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Jul 19, 2019

Southwark Council becomes latest London borough to back introduction of late night levy

The London Borough of Southwark has approved the introduction of a late night levy across the whole borough from 1 September 2019.
Jul 17, 2019

Council to conduct unmet demand survey after court overturns refusal of 13 taxi licences

Halton Borough Council is to carry out an unmet demand survey after the Crown Court overturned the local authority’s decision to refuse 13 hackney carriage licences.
Jul 09, 2019

Woods Whur bolsters licensing team with Elford hire

Specialist licensing law firm Woods Whur has hired associate Luke Elford from TLT Solicitors.
Jun 18, 2019

North East councils pursue memorandum of understanding to allow cross border taxi enforcement

Local authorities in the North East are looking to enter into a memorandum of understanding that would allow enforcement across council boundaries with regard to taxis.
Jun 07, 2019

Judge strikes out JR claim after claimant refuses to pay money into court

A judicial review claim brought by the “We Love Hackney” campaign against changes to Hackney Council’s licensing policy has been struck out after the campaign group refused to pay money into court to cover the council’s costs should the claim be unsuccessful.
May 01, 2019

Surveillance Camera Commissioner warns against blanket use of CCTV recording in taxis and PHVs

Blanket use of CCTV recording in taxis and private hire vehicles would be disproportionate and should be imposed only where a strong justification exists, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has said.
Apr 09, 2019

Taxi driver fails in appeal over revocation of licence for driving on pavement

A hackney carriage driver who was caught driving on the pavement on two separate occasions has failed in an appeal over the revocation of his taxi licence.
Apr 05, 2019

Bogus taxi driver found guilty of illegally plying for trade

Eastleigh Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a bogus taxi driver who picked up two undercover licensing enforcement officers outside a club.


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.
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October 23, 2018

Limited life licences: the verdict

Philip Kolvin QC reports on the outcome of a case where a licensing sub-committee decided to grant a licence for a shorter period than the applicant had requested.
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October 12, 2018

Court directions and appeals against licence revocations

A modern slavery appeal has been summarily dismissed for non-compliance with court directions. Gary Grant explains why.
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October 05, 2018

Legislation not the 'agent of change'

Ralph Kellas examines recent developments in relation to the ‘agent of change’ principle, including the revision of the National Planning Policy Framework and the withdrawal of legislation.
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September 28, 2018

Taxis: the burden of proof

Professor Roy Light analyses the issues around the burden of proof in ‘fit and proper person’ taxi licensing applications and appeals.
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August 03, 2018

Private hire: scope of fit and proper test

A recent Crown Court case considered the scope of the fit and proper test for private hire licences. Philip Kolvin QC analyses the outcome.
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June 22, 2018

Cross border hiring and localism

Gerald Gouriet QC analyses some of the thorny issues that can arise around cross-border hiring of private hire vehicle drivers.
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May 04, 2018

Recent changes to the s.182 guidance

The Home Office has issued revised Guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. Is there anything of substance in the changes? Paddy Whur reports.
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April 13, 2018

Capping the number of hackney carriages

A Yorkshire council has fought off a Crown Court challenge to the limit it placed on the number of hackney carriage licences. Gary Grant explains how.