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Service Changes - COVID-19

Changes to our Licensing Services

Advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to our Licensing service

This guidance is for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new licence. It explains the changes we are making to our Licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

Everyone has a role to play in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Licence holders, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are reminded to follow Government advice including advice on isolation if you have symptoms.

General Guidelines on Changes to the our Licensing service

1.1 Face to Face Appointments

We are not currently offering appointments at our Service Desk. Essential paperwork to be submitted electronically.

 1.2 Committee and Board Meetings

All planned meetings of the Licensing Committee have been postponed. If you are scheduled to attend a future meeting please do not attend.

We will contact you directly about alternative arrangements - where possible decisions may be taken without the need for a meeting.

 1.3 Submitting Applications

We are asking customers to only submit essential applications or paperwork. If necessary, your application should be sent electronically to licensing@northwarks.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of our applications at

https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/licences

 Your application should be signed. Any necessary documentation should accompany the application. If you do not have scanned/electronic copies of documents you can provide photographs. Images of documents must be clear and legible.

 Once we receive your application we will review it and contact you to arrange payment.

 If you are applying for a taxi or private hire car drivers licence we will also contact you with specific instructions on providing your right to work documentation.

 Please be aware that it may take some time to review and process your application. You should expect most applications to take the statutory timescale of 9-12 months to process.

 If you plan to submit a renewal application please read our guidance for existing licence holders

Guidance for Existing Licence Holders

2.1 Your Licence is Due to Expire

All licences due to expire on or before 31 May 2020 will automatically be extended by a period of 3 months. You will be licensed to continue to trade over the extended period subject to Government guidance on Covid-19.

Current Expiry Date

Extended Expiry Date

31 March 2020

30 June 2020

30 April 2020

31 July 2020

31 May 2020

31 August 2020

 Applications for renewal of a licence will not be accepted until June 2020 at the earliest. We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension to licences if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.

Guidance for Taxi and Private Hire Car/Driver Licence Holders

Given the Covid-19 situation Please note our updated process on dealing with PHV/HC licence and plate renewals.

In light of the current restrictions and social isolation we have decided that to prevent any unnecessary contact the following procedure will be adopted in relation to PHV/HC licence and plate renewals.

If a driver wishes to renew either his/her driver licence or vehicle plate they can be informed that the expiry date will be extended by 3 months. This may be reviewed every 28 days dependent on the advice given by the Government and PHE. DBS checks can be done via an online portal so providing we have the necessary permission from the driver to access this we can deal with these appropriately.

If a medical certificate is required then we shall have to request an electronic version in the first instance. Any issues with this will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Any new applications will be put on hold until such time the restrictions have been lifted, again to prevent any social contact. Applications that are currently being processed can continue providing there is no necessity to speak to the applicant face to face.

Any further changes or updates and I will let you know.

3.1 Vehicle Inspections

Autopoint MOT Test Centre are going to remain open so any taxi tests that are booked or due can still continue until advised otherwise.  

Please ensure that your vehicle has a valid MOT and Insurance certificate and is roadworthy at all times when in use.

3.2 Temporary Relaxation of Policy and Conditions

Where a taxi or private hire car is not being used as such and is 'off the road', the taxi or private hire element of the insurance may be cancelled provided that the vehicle remains insured as required by the relevant Road Traffic Legislation.

Please email licensing@northwarks.gov.uk to advise if you have taken such action indicating 'Off road, your plate number and registration number' in the heading of the email.

This will be recorded but no acknowledgement will be issued. No action will be taken regarding failure to have continuous insurance.

3.3 Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)  

Please note that in this situation, you are strongly advised not to operate as a driver unless you follow Government guidance on Covid-19. 

Guidance for Liquor Licence Holders

4.1 Food Takeaway and Delivery Services

Following the announcement by the UK Government regarding a relaxation of planning rules, the Licensing Board is supportive of licensed premises which wish to provide a food take away and food delivery service.

Where the premises sell food and are licensed for both on and off-sales of alcohol, the delivery of alcohol with food will also be permitted, subject to compliance with the appropriate provisions within the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Licensing Board's alcohol delivery conditions which can be found at Part 9.3 of the Licensing Board's Policy Statement at www.northwarks.gov.uk

4.2 Personal Licence Holder

Any personal licence applications must be submitted by post and dealt with in due course

4.3 Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I open my premises early for food outwith licensed hours?

A. Yes, subject to Government guidance on Covid-19 

We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.

Guidance regarding Temporary Event Notices

Rescheduled Events

5.1 Rescheduled Events

If you have already submitted a Temporary Event Notice and wish to re-schedule your event to another date(s), please email Licensing@northwarks.gov.uk with the heading Temporary Event Notice - (name of event)

If you do wish to have your event on another date you will not be charged by the Licensing Authority for the change of date. The Licensing Authority will require from you an updated Temporary Event Notice for the new dates.

Further Guidance

We will continue to update this guidance as necessary. If you have an urgent specific query you can contact us by email. Due to the anticipated volume of enquiries please be aware that it may take some time to respond. Please contact;

Liquor and Gambling

All other Licence Types

Licensing@northwarks.gov.uk

Licensing@northwarks.gov.uk

 

Last updated Thursday, 26th March 2020

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