Licensing enforcement

Environmental Health has an Enforcement Team of Officers that work with businesses to ensure compliance with the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005.

Enforcement principles

Officers work closely with other partner agencies to promote licensing objectives by targeting known problem premises whilst following government guidance around better regulation.

In carrying out their enforcement duties with regards to the inspection of premises and the powers to institute criminal proceedings officers will endeavour to be:

  • proportionate: regulators should only intervene when necessary: remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised;
  • accountable: regulators must be able to justify decisions, and be subject to public scrutiny;
  • consistent: rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly;
  • transparent: regulators should be open, and keep regulations simple and user friendly; and
  • targeted: regulation should be focused on the problem, and minimise

Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act contains stringent safeguards to ensure that the council, and responsible authorities, is able to deal with premises that wilfully and persistently undermine the licensing objectives. The council and responsible authorities are committed to encouraging a thriving day time and evening licensed economy but will not tolerate those premises whose activities infringe upon the quality of life for local residents and businesses.

The Officers' activities include:

  • Giving advice and guidance
  • Investigating complaints
  • Visiting licensed premises to ensure they are complying with conditions of licence
  • Test purchasing
  • Attending Pubwatch

Gambling Act 2005

The main enforcement and compliance role for the council in terms of the Gambling Act 2005 is to ensure compliance with the premises licence conditions and other permissions which it authorises. The Gambling Commission is the enforcement body for operators and personal licence holders.

Concerns about the manufacture, supply or repair of gaming machines will not be dealt with by the council but will be notified to the Gambling Commission. In circumstances where the council believes a premises requires a premises licence for gambling activities and no such licence is in force, the council will alert the Gambling Commission.

Officers carry out routine visits to premises and respond to complaints.