Cotswold DC checks up on drink licenses

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Cotswold DC checks up on drink licenses

Cotswold District Council has launched a crackdown on pubs, clubs and restaurants who are flouting their licence conditions.

The Council's enforcement officers are checking up on licensees across the District who may be serving food and drink, or admitting customers, after hours.

The officers are visiting premises and one-off events late at night and in the early hours of the morning - and have already found a small number in breach of their licence conditions.

The licensees involved have been issued with a warning – but the Council has stressed future breaches could result in prosecution.

Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Cllr David Broad, said: “We want to reassure the community that we take our licensing responsibilities very seriously indeed.

“When the Council grants alcohol and entertainment licences, conditions are put in place to protect our residents and their environment.

“The vast majority of premises meet these conditions but licensees who think they can bend the rules should be aware that we can and will take them to court. A prosecution can result in a fine of up to £20,000, the removal of the licence and the possibility of a jail sentence.”

Local authorities took over responsibility from magistrates for issuing licences to sell alcohol after a shake-up in the law.

The Licensing Act 2003, which came into effect in November last year, allowed licensees to apply for extensions to their opening hours. Businesses that sell takeaway hot food between 11pm and 5am and/or provide musical entertainment, dance, cinema or theatre also need a licence under the new Act.

Cllr Broad added: “We are taking positive action by carrying out these spot checks, but we will also continue to investigate residents' reports of licence breaches.”

If you wish to report an alleged breach of licensing conditions, please contact Cotswold District Council's licensing team on 01285 623000 during office hours. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence. The Council is planning to set up a hotline number so that messages may be left out-of-hours.

Posted : 07/06/2006 17:31:18

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