South Ribble to have its say over alcohol licences

South Ribble Borough Council will be able to request reviews of licensed premises in its area.
South Ribble Borough Council will be able to request reviews of licensed premises in its area.
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South Ribble Borough Council wants to make it easier for the authority to be able to initiate reviews of licensed premises in its area, under planned new powers.

Currently, the council’s Licensing Committee adjudicates on applications for review made by so-called Responsible Authorities, including the police and trading and standards.

Reviews are generally sought when there is concern about the operation of a premises which holds a licence to sell alcohol.

But the council itself has to use a complicated mechanism if it wants to initiate such a review - or to make representations about a licence-holder for consideration by members of its own Licensing Committee.

Since that power has been available to it, South Ribble Council has never attempted to make use of it.

But that changed last month, when the authority requested a review of a restaurant in Bamber Bridge. And so the council is now set to simplify the process.

Under a proposal set to be rubber-stamped this week, the council will delegate responsibility to its Head of Legal Services to allow it to act as a Responsible Authority in its own right.

Members of the cross-party Licensing Committee will still make the final decision on whether to initiate reviews and also continue to decide their outcome - but the council will now be more able to call for them in the first place.

If the recommendation to adopt the plan gets the approval of the Licensing Committee, it will go before a future meeting of the full council.

Meanwhile, South Ribble has also been approved as a training centre for anybody applying for a premises licence.

The British Institute of Innkeepers has given the go-ahead for the council to offer its personal licence qualification - which is a requirement for anybody wanting to obtain a licence to sell alcohol.

The course teaches applicants about the responsibilities which come with being granted a licence.

As a training provider, South Ribble could generate additional income by offering the service to applicants from outside the borough.

Courses will be available from September.