Message from Leeds City Council, Entertainment Licensing Section: COVID-19

During these times of difficulty, we want to let you know that we are doing our best to support the licensed trade in Leeds. We have moved all of our services online and are operating remotely.  We are here to offer you support and advice by phone or e-mail concerning your licence and below is some information that we hope is useful to you.

 

Licence Applications

 

We are still processing licence applications, but as we have limited access to postal deliveries we would encourage you to apply either through GOV.UK or by e-mail. If you need any help to do this, please call us.

 

If you need to advertise your application, you might find it difficult to find a print newspaper who will take your advert. We will accept these placed in online versions.  Please ensure that your public notices advertise our e-mail address and not our postal address.  We are advertising applications on our website as well but you will still need to display a site notice at your premises.

 

If your application receives representations and needs to be decided by a licensing sub-committee, we are holding these meetings virtually either by video conferencing or by phone.  We will contact you directly to discuss the arrangements.

 

If you need help with an application, contact us by phone on 0113 378 5029, or you can e-mail us at entertainment.licensing@leeds.gov.uk

 

Food and Alcohol Delivery Services

 

It is important that not only are businesses able to continue to trade but that they are able to keep in contact with their customers at this time.  This is good for business but also good for morale.  You may wish to think about how you can promote your business by offering something different. This could be by selling vouchers, offering online orders, or offering deliveries.

 

A temporary relaxation to Planning classes allows licensed premises to operate as a food takeaway during the coronavirus period.  This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.If you intend to do this, then you are required to notify the local planning authority at planning@leeds.gov.uk

 

If you have `off' sales on your licence then you may provide alcohol for consumption off the premises. However, customers cannot consume drink or food on the premises whilst waiting for their orderWe strongly recommend you offer this via an online or telephone ordering service so that people are not waiting for food to be prepared.

 

You can’t offer a delivery service if you are licensed for ‘on’ sales only.  However we are allowing minor variation applications so that you can add off sales to your premises licence for a time-limited period until 11pm and this permission will end on the 23rd March 2021. 

 

In all cases when alcohol is delivered, it is the licence holder’s legal responsibility to ensure that social responsibility measures are practiced so that no alcohol is sold or handed over to anyone under 18 years of age, or to anyone who is drunk.  We would ask that you operate an age verification scheme such as `check 25’ as a minimum requirement and only accept photographic forms of identity such as a PASS card, driving licence or passport.

 

In checking ID drivers should be reminded to observe social distancing measures (at least 2 metres) and so asking customers to show their ID through their window if possible could be one solution.  We strongly recommend that you advertise proof of ID will be required and if the driver is in any doubt as to the person’s age or the ID produced (i.e. false ID), then the alcohol will not be delivered. It is an offence for a responsible person (including a delivery driver) to sell/deliver alcohol to a person who is under the age of 18 years, or who is drunk.

 

A quick reference guide for 'on' premises operators on the Do's and Don'ts of takeaway food and ‘off sales’ of alcohol from licensed premises is available to view by clicking here.

 

Social Distancing Measures

 

If we could remind all premises that remain operating, such as convenience stores and takeaways that they must follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing and have arrangements in place to ensure that customers maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between one another and your staff.  You should consider the appropriate number of people that may be allowed in the premises at any one time and manage a queueing system outside, whilst ensuring that the people in the queue also observe social distancing rules. 

 

Licence Annual Fee:

 

The authority will consider delaying any suspension of the licence where the non-payment is related to COVID-19, and typically if your premises are unable to trade.  Any enquiries/requests for a payment delay can be directed to entertainment.licensing@leeds.gov.uk, or phone 0113 378 5029. Unfortunately without any amendment to legislation the authority is unable to completely waive the annual fee.

 

Business Support

 

Please refer to the Council’s website which provides help and advice for business: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/business

 

The site includes:

  • Help for self-employed people
  • Small Business grants
  • Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Business rates holiday
  • Grants for the creative sector in Leeds

 

A free support initiative for microbusinesses in Leeds has launched, providing help for small businesses (those with 0-9 employees). The Leeds Microbusiness Support website features helpful resources on finance, Government support, strategy, marketing and people. Small business owners in Leeds can also book telephone 121s with local business experts, for bespoke advice and support. The project is fully funded by Leeds City Council and business transformation experts, Insight with Passion: https://mybusinessleeds.info

 

The Government has launched a new online platform on GOV.UK to help businesses and self-employed people to determine what financial support is available during the pandemic. Business owners will be asked to fill out a simple questionnaire, and will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

 

The platform is available at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

 

We do not have any information to suggest when lockdown is going to be lifted/relaxed, however our advice to operators is to closely monitor the GOV.UK website (and the media) as the information published on it is being continually reviewed and updated.

 

Scam Alert

 

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 related scams.  Be particularly wary of scam texts, phone calls and the installation of Apps. Scams can be reported to Trading Standards Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040. Further information is available at https://www.wyjs.org.uk/news/

 

Security

 

Advice has been issued by the West Yorkshire Police Leeds District Licensing Department for operators of premises that remain closed to double-check your alarm system on a regular basis and, where possible, to remove high value items and stock to somewhere more secure. Where this isn’t possible please try to ensure higher value items and stock are placed somewhere as secure as possible on the premises. Your CCTV systems should all still be working, and if on motion sensor, should kick in to action if there is any unauthorised activity inside the premises.

 

 

 

Image: mymiltonkeynes.co.uk

 

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