Don’t leave it too late to get a license

As the festive season gets underway and people begin planning events in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, Winchester City Council is reminding organisers not to leave it too late to apply for a licence.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, a license is usually required for any events which involve the following:

• live or recorded music
• film showings
• plays
• dancing
• sale of alcohol
• provision of hot food and drink after 11pm

Many entertainment venues already have licences which permit these activities to take place. If a venue does not already have a licence, a one-off licence known as a Temporary Event Notice must be submitted to the Council.

A Temporary Event Notice should be sent to the Council together with a fee of £21; a copy must also be sent to the Police. Event organisers need to allow a minimum of ten working days between the time the Council receives the Notice and the day the event takes place.

Pubs and bars requiring extended hours or additional licensing over the Christmas and New Year period also need to ensure that they leave enough time to apply. The Council’s deadlines for the receipt of Notices are 9 December (for Christmas Eve), 10 December (for Christmas Day), and 14 December (for New Years Eve/Day).

John Myall, Winchester City Council’s Licensing and Registration Manager, said: “If you’re planning any kind of event that requires a license, please remember to submit your notice in time. There have been a number of cases in the past when organisers have had to cancel their events simply because they left it too late to obtain a license.”

If you would like advice on applying for a licence, please contact Winchester City Council’s Licensing Section on 01962 848 188 or 01962 848 443.

Failure to comply with licensing laws can result in a large fine and even imprisonment.