Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Licensing complaint: response from Head of Trading Standards and Environmental Health

Below you can find the text of the response to our complaint about the lack of proper consultation about the Council's Licensing Policy (see Consultation on LBTH Licensing Policy ignores residents associations).  The response comes from Colin Perrins the Council's Head of Trading Standards and Environmental Heath (commercial) who is the man with the delegated responsibility to develop and apply the Council's Licensing Policy.

Tomorrow we will be posting our response to his letter.  This outlines why we REJECT Mr Perrins' letter as an adequate response to our formal complaint.  This means this complaint should now go the second stage of the Council's Corporate Complaints process.

If any other residents association or community organisation would like to join in this complaint please let us know.  We've already had very clear support for our position from at least ward councillor.
Thank for you enquiry regarding the the consultation on the Council's Licensing Policy.

I have been asked by Kevan Collins to respond to you on his behalf.

The Council is obliged to review it's Licensing policy every three years. It was decided during the course of this year that this review would be a limited in terms of change and scope of consultation. The reason for this was as follows:- .

1. The change of Government in May 2010 led to announcements that there would be fundamental changes to the Licensing regime . The early indication was that the changes would be implemented this Autumn. As a result of this many Local Authorities delayed their policy review process because they wanted to include any changes to avoid having to carry out two review processes close to each other. There were also indications that Central Government may extend the three year threshold to help local authorities facilitate this.

2. Unfortunately the implementation of the changes to the Licensing regime were delayed with likely implementation now being December 2011 and Local Authorities were informed had to review their policies by December 2010. It was therefore decided by the Council that the current policy would have minimal changes limited only to ensuring it was up to date and reflected regulation changes that had taken place over the last three years. Guidance allows Local Authorities to limit the consultation process if policy changes are small. The suggested changes to the current policy are not controversial. The current policy has underpinned the Council's Licensing regime very well without any challenge. It is considered that it will be fit for purpose and stand the Council in good stead until the the next review in 2011

3. We have undertaken to carry out a comprehensive review when the new licensing proposals are confirmed. This will be a major task as the proposed changes by Central Government will be fundamental and the Council will have a degree of discretion in the changes it can make. All of the Council's recognised residents associations (including your organisation) will be contacted as part of this process. So you will be able to make any representations then.
I hope this explains the Council's position on this matter. If you wish to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me on the other phone number below

Colin Perrins
Head of Trading Standards and Environmental Health (Commercial)
Tel        0207 364 6872
Fax        0207 364 6901
Mobile   07957 303 922
email     colin.perrins@towerhamlets.gov.uk

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