Locally set licence fees: a carte blanche?
The Home Office has published a consultation on the shift from centrally to locally set licence fees.
In 2005, fee levels were centrally set and have remained untouched since. However, Home Office minister Norman Baker believes a change is necessary to ‘rebalance’ the Licensing Act as ‘costs vary for legitimate reasons in different areas’.
The power to implement this change was assigned to the home secretary by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, amending the Licensing Act 2003. Overall, the suggested changes present a likely increase in fees payable, provided that licensing authorities can justify the costs incurred…
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