All licence applications must comply with four licensing objectives including:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm

Further information is provided to applicants or licensees on the licensing objectives. Please view each objective to help you to complete your operating schedule.

Objecting on the grounds of the Crime and Disorder Objective

We may take into account and recognise that certain criminal activity or associated problems may take or be taking place despite the best efforts of the licensee and the staff working at the premises. In such circumstances, we will take any necessary steps to remedy the problems. Our role is to promote the licensing objectives in the interests of the wider community rather than determine guilt or innocence of individuals. Such issues are for the courts of law.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint, you must provide evidence that you have seen an issue in relation to the following at first-hand:

  • breaches of licensing conditions, authorised activities or authorised hours
  • a criminal offence (which should be reported to the police first)
  • anti-social behaviour

Public safety

Objections and complaints from interested parties

We cannot take into account any issues that are dealt with in other legislation such as public health, cleanliness or hygiene.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint you must provide evidence that you have seen an issue in relation to the following at first-hand:

  • overcrowding (leading to an increased risk of violence or to the safety of people in the premises)
  • fire issues (which should be reported to the fire service first)
  • anyone being hurt or having an accident in licensed premises (who should seek medical care and report to the relevant authorities)

Licence holders or applicants applying for a licence or certificate

The public safety objective is concerned with the physical safety of the people performing in and staff and customers using the relevant premises and not with public health.

Where there is a requirement in other legislation for premises open to the public or for employers to possess certificates attesting to the safety or satisfactory nature of certain equipment or fixtures on the premises, it would be unnecessary for a licensing condition to be placed on the premises licence or club premises certificate.

As part of the application process, applicants must consider the impact of their premises in relation to the licensing objectives. They should consider implementing the measures listed below.

Fire regulations

The premises should comply with all statutory fire safety controls.

Guidance and information is available from Communities and Local Government or Kent Fire Rescue Service.

Food safety

The premises must comply with all food safety regulations.

Disabled facilities

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 introduced new laws aimed at ending the discrimination that many disabled people face. The Act gave disabled people new rights of access to goods, facilities and services, as well as in employment and buying or renting property.

If it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a licence holder's services, they may be required to take reasonable steps to:

  • change their practices, policies or procedures or provide a reasonable alternative method of making their services available to disabled people
  • provide an auxiliary aid or service to assist or enable disabled people to use their service

The following are examples of reasonable adjustments:

  • reading the menu to a customer with visual impairment and/or providing large print menus
  • disabled customer paying the waiter rather than queuing at the till on way out
  • installing an accessible lavatory, depending on available space and resources
  • adapting the premises for wheelchair access

Health and safety

There are various websites that can provide you with information on health and safety, including that of the Health and Safety Executive.

Licensed premises can cover a wide range of activities. All licensed premises involve a great deal of interaction with members of the public.

Fatalities to employees in these industries are comparatively rare but serious injuries do occur.

The main causes of injuries are:

  • falls from height
  • workplace transport
  • slips and trips
  • manual handling
  • slips on wet or food contaminated floors
  • being struck by something (such as sharp knives or falling objects)
  • machinery

The main causes of occupational ill health are:

  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • dermatitis
  • noise
  • occupational asthma
  • rhinitis
  • work-related stress.

Overheating

Licence holders should provide air conditioning and ventilation to control temperature and humidity. Some licensed premises may have restrictions in relation to opening doors and windows during regulated entertainment.

The prevention of public nuisance

Public nuisance is given a statutory meaning in many pieces of legislation. It is, however, not narrowly defined in the Licensing Act 2003  and retains its broad common law meaning. The issues mainly concern noise nuisance, light pollution, noxious smells and litter.

Objections and complaints from interested parties

Public nuisance could include low-level nuisance, perhaps affecting a few people living locally as well as major disturbance affecting the whole community.

Examples of nuisance could include:

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint, you must provide evidence that you have experienced a nuisance issue at first hand. Please make sure that you have:

  • reported the incident to the relevant authorities in the first instance and
  • the incident has happened on a repeated basis

Licence holders and applicants applying for a licence or certificate

The essential purpose of a licence holder taking responsibility under this objective is to make sure that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent disruption to their neighbours. It is recommended that they consider the following measures:

Noise

Noise from commercial premises is often dealt with in the same way as domestic premises. However, in some cases we may need to prove a statutory nuisance exists at the licensed premises. We may then issue a notice to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum.

To try to avoid this, licence holders should:

  • keep windows and doors closed during regulated entertainment
  • use sound-proofing in the area used for live entertainment
  • install acoustic lobbies at the entrances and exits of the premises
  • install a sound limiter
  • close gardens and open air areas at 11pm
  • place notices at the entrances and exits to remind customers to leave quietly
  • move speakers away from walls adjacent to residential properties

Rubbish and litter

Licence holders should:

  • keep rubbish bins and glass refuse at the rear of the premises, away from public access
  • put a bin outside the entrance of the premises
  • not empty bottles, bins and rubbish between 11pm and 7am

Car parking

Licence holders should provide:

  • car parking facilities for the use of customers
  • details of the nearest public car park
  • notices advising customers not to park in residents' driveways and not to block the highway

Residents associations

Licence holders should hold regular meetings with residents, businesses in the vicinity of the premises and also invite the ward councillors to these meetings.

The protection of children from harm

This objective relates to the protection of children from moral, psychological and physical harm. This includes protecting them from early exposure to:

  • strong language
  • sexual expletives
  • adult entertainment
  • drinking alcohol
  • drug-taking
  • gambling
  • violence

Objections and complaints from interested parties

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport recommends that we develop family-friendly environments that should not be frustrated by overly-restrictive conditions relating to children.

Nevertheless, the council also has a responsibility to protect children.

If you are considering objecting, reviewing a licence or making a complaint you must provide evidence that you have seen actual or potential harm for children at first-hand. Please make sure that you have:

  • reported the incident to the relevant authorities in the first instance, for example, the sale of age-restricted products (this includes sales of alcohol and tobacco to children or young people who are under-age)
  • details of the children affected

Licence holders or applicants applying for a licence or certificate

Licence holders may need to restrict access to the premises to exclude children to protect them from harm which will arise if they:

  • provide adult entertainment
  • have been convicted of serving alcohol to minors or have a reputation for allowing underage drinking
  • have known association with drug-taking or dealing
  • have a strong element of gambling on the premises
  • have a premise with the primary use is exclusively to provide alcohol

They will need to consider the following measures:

Admission of children

There may need to be:

  • a restriction of where and if children are allowed in the premises
  • a time restriction allowing children in the premises
  • a notice explaining to customers when and where children are allowed or not.

Proof of age

Staff must be trained in checking customers' ages by only accepting the following identification:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • Citizencard

Licence holders can also run a Challenge 21 scheme.

Refusal book

Licence holders should keep a refusal book on the premises where staff can record details of everyone who has been refused alcohol. This is similar to an incident book.

Entertainment

  • Where entertainment of an adult or sexual nature is provided, children under the age of 18 years are not allowed into the premises. Provisions must be put into place as to how staff will prevent children from entering the premises. This may include covering and blocking windows.
  • During events specifically for people under the age of 18 years, adult staff must be employed to ensure their safety.

If you wish to make a representation or complaint, you should keep records such as the date and time and a brief description of all incidents at the premises, so that enforcement agencies can investigate. The council may ask for formal statements to be taken so that it can take the matter further with the premises licence holders to rectify the problems.

All complaints and representations will need to be in writing to the Licensing Unit. Should you wish to discuss your concerns, please contact the Licensing Enforcement Team.

Please note

The information above is not legal advice. Legislation and procedures may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at present. It is not necessarily comprehensive and will be subject to revision in the event of further government guidance and regulations. This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to or substitute for the relevant law.

 

For more information contact Licensing Services on 01634 337 107 or 337108 or contact Enforcement on 01634 337 112 or 01634 337 106 or by emailing licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR