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Speaking at licensing panels

What is a licensing panel?

Licensing panels are made up of 3 council members from the Licensing and Safety Committee, who meet to determine licence applications under certain circumstances. This is usually where there have been objections raised.

The Panel will hear from both sides, and then determine what course of action is appropriate, for example whether or not a licence shall be granted or whether to attach extra conditions.

Who is allowed to speak?

Those who have made relevant representations during the consultation period are invited to speak. If multiple parties have raised similar issues, they are usually required to nominate a spokesperson to present these issues.

Speaking at the Panel is at the discretion of the Chair of the Panel. The applicant and their representative, if applicable, will also be able to put their case to the Panel.

What is the order of speaking?

  1. The Licensing Officer will outline the application and objections received
  2. Objectors (including any Responsible Authorities making representations such as the Police or Environmental Health, are invited to put their case forward
  3. The applicant will be invited to put their case forward
  4. All parties will sum up

How will I hear the decision?

The Panel will make their decision in private, and will then reconvene and give a verbal decision. A detailed letter of the decision will be sent to all parties. The decision will also be published online in most cases.

Will the meeting be held in public?

Yes, the majority of licensing panels are heard in public and anyone can attend as an observer. The minutes of the meeting and decision will also be published online.

In certain cases, members of the public and press will be excluded from proceedings if confidential or exempted information is likely to be disclosed.

I can’t attend the meeting, can someone speak on my behalf?

You are welcome to ask a friend or representative to speak on your behalf, although as mentioned above, if multiple parties have raised similar issues, it is likely only the group’s spokesperson will
be permitted to speak on behalf of the objectors. Licensing and Safety Committee members are discouraged from speaking on behalf of their ward residents, but other Councillors are permitted to represent their residents.

What will be permitted?

There is no limit on the type of evidence you can bring before the Panel. However if you have written evidence or photographs to show we would encourage you to submit these at least 48 working hours in advance of the meeting to give all parties time to consider them. Evidence provided after this time may be presented at the hearing if the Panel are satisfied that the interests of the applicant or any objector have not been prejudiced.

How do I arrange to speak at the meeting?

If you have submitted a valid representation to the Licensing Officer, you will be contacted with arrangements for the Panel meeting. The Clerk to the Panel will tell you whether you are the only objector, and if there is more than one in attendance, a meeting area will be arranged directly before the Panel for the objectors to put together their points.