Court ruling could impact on licence fees

A COURT of Appeal ruling could impact on the level of fees charged by licensing boards and local authorities.

The case involved a group of seven sex shop owners from London’s west end who had campaigned for three years to have their licence fees reduced; they claimed that 10% of the fee charged by Westminster City Council was justified and that the remainder was being spent prosecuting unlicensed operators which, they argued, could not be charged back to licensees.
European laws brought in in 2009 prevent licensing authorities from charging fees beyond the actual cost of the authorisation process.
Licensing lawyer Jack Cummins said: “The judgement is bound to provide a crucial focus in the current review of fee charging.”