The Government has launched a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to the alcohol licensing guidance governing the 2003 Licensing Act.
Suggestions include official clarification over whether a personal licence holder needs to be physically present for the sale of alcohol to take place.
Ambiguity over this point has seen some zealous police forces close premises while the owners are away on holiday in the past.
However, the Government wants written, rather than verbal, authorisation from owners designating a responsible person when the personal license holder is absent.
Other areas of guidance up for debate include the term “vicinity” relating to who can make representations to licensing authorities over licence extensions, and simplification of the actual guidance booklet.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport has already carried out a minor licensing review “clarifying” minor ambiguities and mistakes in the guidance used by councils, which became law last June.
The closing date for responses is 11 April.
By Chris Druce
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