Responsible Management of Premises
Licensed Premises are considered in many cases the heart of a smaller community and in urban areas can bring many economic benefits. However, a poorly managed premise has the ability to become a destructive force in a community, making life for its neighbours intolerable.
The Public Protection Division assists licensed premises to comply with all relevant legislation and engage with their community in a positive manner. There are several ongoing consultation and education initiatives detailed below which help us to achieve this.
The Licensing Forum comprises a cross section of licensees, representatives of responsible authorities, residents associations and other interested parties. The Forum meets to discuss matters of interest to the trade and the public, receiving advice and assistance where necessary. It also helps to review the local licensing policy and is kept appraised of licensing procedures and enforcement.
The Forum established the Drinkwise Accreditation Scheme.
Drinkwise is a code of good practice for responsible licensees. It applies to on and off licensed premises. The scheme recognises good management and follows Government recommendations on the benefit such schemes can have on reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder in the communities.
The scheme aims to: -
- Achieve continual improvement in standards of management
- Promote a clean safe and trouble-free environment that can be enjoyed by staff, customers and local residents
- Support licensees who strive to comply with the law
There are two codes of practice, one for on licence premises and one for off. Each code suggests a suite of measures under the four licensing objectives, which if complied with represent a well-managed licensed premise. Compliance with the code encourages high standards of management above and beyond what is required by legislation.
Twice yearly the authority publishes 'Licensing News' a newsletter for businesses in the county borough that are affected by licensing legislation.
Licensing News Winter 2011 (PDF)
Responsible Authorities Meetings
The Responsible Authorities under The Licensing Act, the Police, Trading Standards, Environmental Health and the Fire Service and other interested such parties such as planning meet on a monthly basis to discuss alcohol licensing matters and in particular problem premises, drawing in local Neighbourhood Policing Officers as appropriate.
Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Enforcement Protocol
The Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Enforcement Protocol for the Licensing Act 2003 is an agreement between the Licensing Authority, Gwent Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue, Social Services, Public Protection, and Planning & Development Services.
These bodies are the Responsible Authorities under the Act. Each has their own enforcement responsibilities at Licensed Premises. The MoU seeks to ensure effective and efficient co-ordination of enforcement roles, provides clear lines of responsibility, and encourages intelligence sharing.
There is a comprehensive Environmental Health response to problems of nuisance from noise and other concerns such as litter and lighting.
Noise can be a particular concern from licensed premises, arising from live music or other entertainment, and externally from people congregating and leaving the premises.
The Council has adopted a Noise Policy to address these concerns and has established arrangements to deal with issues occurring outside normal working hours. As a named responsible authority under the Licensing Act, these investigations will include consideration of a review of the licence.
As part of its enforcement role for litter, Enforcement Officers and Community Safety Wardens are authorised to issue fixed penalty notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for all litter including alcohol related litter.
The Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) carries a penalty of £75 discounted to £50 if paid within 7 days.
As a result of the extension of the late night economy enforcement officers visit fast food takeaway outlets to emphasise the message on litter. Owners of premises are advised of their legal responsibilities and their co-operation is sought to encourage their patrons to dispose of their waste in a socially acceptable way.
Free posters are provided which indicate the penalty for dropping litter can be downloaded below.
No ifs No Butts
As a result of the Smoking Ban we visit licensed premises advising them of the legislation with regard to the correct disposal of their cigarette related litter.
We distribute posters and other promotional materials to encourage good practice.