The Licensing Act 2003 requires all events involving music or sale of alcohol to have a licence – the requirements are oppressive for small fundraising events organised by Charities or other non-commercial organisations. As most do not have a Personal Licence holder or the premises (such as village halls, churches) do not have Premises Licences the organisers are required to complete in triplicate a 10 page form, most of which is irrelevant. This form must be submitted to the local authority & police for vetting on each occasion at a cost of £21 a time.
This requirement costs my charity a significant proportion of the funds raised by such events and, as a licence has never been refused to me, is a pointless bureacratic exercise. Obtaining a Personal Licence requires attendance at a course typically costing £300 covering far more than the requirements for the small events I organise and as the premises we use (WI Hall, church) do not Have Premises Licences would still require the £21 redundant form to be completed and submitted for approval prior to the event.
The requirement could be simplified and made less onerous by allowing an individual organising such non-commercial events to be vetted once and subsequently allowed to hold, say, 5 events per annum simply by sending the local authority a one page form (or even simpler, holding a log record of events). This would almost be reverting to the practice prior to John Prescott's oppresive law when individual licence holders could apply for a one year licence allowing a number of events per annum.
Why is this idea important?
My charity would have saved £189 plus many trees if the law had been made more sensible.
The benefits would not just be to the charities but to the local authority & police who have to allocate manpower to process the useless 10 page form for each event.
Finally, it would avoid the current situation where many event organisers find the cost & form filling so onerous they just ignore the law – I know this for a fact as each event licence when returned to me shows I am the one & only person to have officially held events at some locations when I know there have been events with alcohol sold.