Licensing - Coronavirus update
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic members of the licensing unit are not always present in the office at the moment. The team is working but often remotely in accordance the Government's advice.
The Licensing Authority has put in place plans to minimise disruption to businesses and being a statutory function the authority will continue to provide a service though the methods by which it is delivered may change during this period.
Please Note: We appreciate that these are extraordinary times but licences should be kept up to date and where necessary renewed if at all possible. Please do not allow your licence to expire, if you are not able to follow the advice below please contact the licensing unit and we will do all we can to assist you.
Please Note: That the situation is constantly changing and some of the information here may be subject to change. We will do our best to keep you informed but we appreciate your understanding and patience at this time.
For holders of Taxi Licences see also: Driver and Vehicle Licences Coronavirus update
Business Support: The government has introduced a range of financial measures to help businesses deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Council has compiled a brief guide to the support that is available for businesses and the contact details of the institutions and organisations that can help you.
Business Advice: The Councils' Public Health and Regulation Team has issued some useful advice directed at food businesses and non-food businesses regarding: Food Safety; Health & Safety; infection control and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stress, Anxiety and Mental Wellbeing: In the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown many of us are experiencing stresses and concerns never experienced before. If issues are becoming overwhelming there's no shame in reaching out for help if you are feeling stressed, depressed or experiencing suicidal thoughts in some form. If you’re not sure of who to reach out to in your community there is an organisation based in Brighton that can provide help. The organisation is called 'Grassroots' and their 'Find Help Now' pages can guide you in finding a national or local support service that is right for you.
Wherever possible please make your application & any payment through the Council's on line facilities. If you cannot use the on line facilities then please scan or photograph your completed application form and accompanying documents and email to: email@example.com or if relating to taxi licensing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If none of the above options are suitable you can still post by hand or send by post your documentation - place the completed forms in an envelope and mark to the attention of:
The Public Health & Regulation Licensing Unit, 44 Portland House, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HS
On receipt and processing of your application you will be telephoned to make any required payment over the phone.
Credit and Debit cards must not be scanned and sent to the licensing office, an officer will be in touch to process a payment over the phone; however; there may be a delay in this part of the process but this will not affect the application date.
Applications will be processed and your licence & any receipt will be sent to you by email and a copy posted at a later date if requested by the applicant.
* Please note documents posted to the Licensing Unit will be scanned and stored securely until they can be returned.
Please Note: Whilst members of the Licensing Unit are not present in the office the team are working remotely and will be able to deal with any queries or problems you have. Please contact email@example.com, or for taxi queries firstname.lastname@example.org leaving your telephone number and a brief outline of your issue and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible or within 5 working days.
Advice for Licence holders & Applicants
HM Government on 24 September 2020 introduced new guidance and regulations for business. These include:
- Office workers should work from home again where possible - although those in "key public services and in all professions" where this is not possible, such as construction and retail, should continue to go in.
- All pubs, bars and restaurants must offer table service only.
- All pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a track & trace system.
- All pubs, bars, restaurants and takeaway premises must be closed to the public by 10pm.
- Delivery services can remain open until their normal terminal hour.
- The requirement to wear a face covering has been extended to staff in retail, people in taxis and everyone using hospitality services. Fines for not wearing a face covering will now double to £200 for a first offence.
- COVID-secure guidelines will become a legal obligation for retail, leisure and tourism firms, with those who do not comply running the risk of fines of £10,000 or closure.
- Only 15 people can now attend weddings, but 30 can still go to a funeral.
- The "rule of six" has been extended to indoor sports teams, such as five-a-side football games.
- The phased reopening of stadiums for sporting events from 1 October has been scrapped.
The government has had in place restrictions on a number of businesses since March 2020 in order to reduce the spread of the virus. To date compliance has generally been excellent but businesses that breach regulations will be subject to prohibition notices, potentially unlimited fines and the loss of any licences they hold.
The Government's advice to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Pandemic is:
- Stay Alert
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Advice and support
The government has put in place measures to support businesses affected by the virus. There are grants and loans available as part of this package. Please follow developments on the government website as ways to access these will be announced shortly.
- Licensing Act, Gambling Act and Taxi Committee and Sub-Committee hearings have been postponed until alternative arrangements can be put in place
- We will deal with complaints and compliance issues as normal.
Contacting the team
- In the first instance, please use email as a means of contacting us. Our email addresses are listed above and these will be monitored throughout the day and we will respond as soon as we are able.
- If you do not have access to email, please call our office on 01273 263331 or for taxis 01273 263144. It may be that we will not be able to take your call at the time, so please be prepared to leave a message with your name, phone number and the reason for your call.
- We will endeavour to return any calls and respond to emails within 5 working days.
Takeaways and home deliveries of food/drink
Takeaways must close to the public at 22:00hrs each day. Deliveries may continue after this time in line with the premises authorised hours.
The government has announced emergency plans to relax planning laws for a limited period to allow bars, restaurants and other leisure venues to run food delivery services, sell alcohol for consumption off the premises and allow the use of outside areas for tables & chairs through a temporary pavement licence.
However, please note that deliveries of hot food and drinks between 23:00hrs and 05:00hrs will require a premises licence which authorises late night refreshment. There are no time restrictions of any type on the delivery of cold soft drinks and cold food.
In addition, alcohol cannot be included in your deliveries unless you have a premises licence which specifically authorises alcohol sales.
If you change your business type to provide takeaways or deliveries of food, please note that you must still comply with your premises licence timings and conditions, and ensure you have adequate age verification procedures in place for deliveries that include alcohol. If you are unsure about your licence conditions, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss.
Cancelling an event with a temporary events notice (TEN)
The legislation does not allow us to amend a temporary event notice once it has been processed, nor can we issue a refund for any cancelled event. You can however withdraw the TEN so that it does not count towards your totals for the year. Please email us at email@example.com to do this.
Premises licence annual fees - Licensing Act 2003 & Gambling Act 2005
The current position is that these should still be paid either by post, telephone or online (guidance can be found on your invoice) and we are still legally required to suspend licences where payment is not made.
Cancelling a Charitable Street Collection
If you have a permit allowing you to hold a street collection and wish to cancel the event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to arrange a date later in the year for your collection.
On 7th April 2020 the Canine and Feline Sector Group issued the following guidance which has been agreed by Defra. Covid-19 - Advice for Animal Related Businesses and Local Authorities in England.
Guidance for Applicants
Temporary Event Notices (TEN)
Coronavirus update: Please be advised that in keeping with government guidance during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we would encourage customers to only submit notices for temporary events which might be considered essential during this period. To promote public health & safety during this period, events applied for which might be considered non-essential or would encourage unnecessary social contact or might breach Covid-19 regulations are highly likely to be objected to by the Police and the Councils' Environmental Health Team.
Please use the existing on line process for this if you can:
If you cannot use the online process, you can submit the form on our temporary events webpage by email to email@example.com to do this, ensuring you copy this to Sussex Police - Licensing at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then contact you for a card payment over the phone.
Please take care to complete the application form in full. Any incomplete or illegible applications will be rejected and will not be processed.
Premises Licences - Gambling Act 2005 and Licensing Act 2003
Applications can be made via our Premises and Personal Licences page, or by email to email@example.com. If the application is made via email we will then contact you for a card payment over the phone.
Personal Licences - Licensing Act 2003
Applications for personal licences must be made via email as they are not able to be applied for online. Please send the application form, declaration from, training certificate, basic DBS disclosure (issued within 1 calendar month) and 2 photos (one of which must be endorsed) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best way to do this is to:
- Photograph each page of the forms but please ensure it is clear and legible or we will not be able to process it.
- When we are ready to process your application, we will call you to take payment over the phone.
- When we have a completed correct application and payment, we will process the application. We may have to issue the licence/permit by email - so please ensure you provide an email address on your application. Licences will be sent out via post once normal service has resumed in the office.
I hope this will assist you during these difficult times and if you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact: email@example.com