Kit Malthouse MP has writtent to members of the National Licensing Forum (NLF), in response to their communication in relation to the pandemic.
NLF members had collaborated on a letter to the Minister to reiterate the need for consistency, but also to highlight the availability of the group to assist in scrutiny of Regulations and restrictions as the country moves gradually out of lockdown.
In the letter, the Minister reiterated his support for licensing authorities to consider accepting minor variations where concerns about the licensing objectives that led to a condition being made no longer exist. He noted, that "...such variations might temporarily disapply conditions or remove them entirely if there were evidence that permanent changes to the operation of the premises had occurred."
The letter addesses the issue of shadow licences as well, stating:
"I understand the value of shadow licenses to property owners in the present circumstances, where more premises licenses are being surrendered or are lapsing."
"However, it appears that in some areas shadow licenses have sometimes been used to thwart the decision of a licensing committee to suspend or revoke a premises license. So, while I would encourage the acceptance of shadow licenses, I would also encourage licensing authorities to give them the same careful consideration that they give to an application for the primary Iicence of the premises."