The Licensing Act 2003 affects all community halls that cater for activities such as the sale of alcohol and the provision of entertainment, music and dancing.
Community halls that wish to hold these activities will need to apply to Bath & North East Somerset Council for a licence under the Licensing Act 2003.
Community hall committees need to look at the events and facilities that they offer so they can decide what type of licence to apply for.
Community Halls that are planning to hold more than 12 events a year will need to submit a premises licence application to Bath & North East Somerset Council together with an operating schedule.
The application will have to be advertised and responsible authorities and interested parties will be able to make representations against the application. If there are no representations the licence will be granted otherwise the application will go to a hearing before the Licensing Committee. If alcohol is to be sold then a Designated Premises Supervisor, who must also be a Personal Licence holder, must be named.
If the sale of alcohol is included as a licensable activity then a Designated Premises Supervisor must be named on the Premises Licence application. The Designated Premises Supervisor will be responsible for the day to day running of the licensable activities of the community hall. There can only be one named Designated Premises Supervisor per Premises licence and he/she must be a Personal Licence holder.
To apply for a Personal Licence the applicant must have no relevant offences, which can be shown by a Criminal Records Disclosure and have achieved a recognised licensing qualification.
Community halls are exempt from fees if no sale of alcohol is carried on at the premises. If alcohol is sold as a licensable activity then the normal fee structure will apply.
An operating schedule is a document that includes a statement of the following matters:
- The relevant licensable activities.
- The times during which it is proposed that the relevant licensable activities are to take place.
- Any other times during which it is proposed that the premises are to be open to the public.
- Where the applicant wishes the licence to have effect for a limited period, that period.
- Where the relevant licensable activities include the supply of alcohol then Designated Premises Supervisor must be named.
- Where the relevant licensable activities include the supply of alcohol, whether the supplies are proposed to be for consumption on the premises or off the premises, or both.
- The steps which it is proposed to take to promote the licensing objectives which are:
The prevention of crime and disorder
The protection of children from harm
The prevention of public nuisance
There may be an exemption from the payment of fees in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment at community halls, parish halls or other premises of a similar nature. If, however, the licence also authorises the use of the premises for the sale or supply of alcohol or the provision of late night refreshment, a fee will be required for those activities.
Charity Events that Provide Entertainment
If regulated entertainment is provided for the public in a community hall, scout/guide hall or similar, or if a charge is made to a private audience with a view to profit, including for a charity, then the provision of regulated entertainment at such premises would require a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice.
Temporary Events Notice (TENs)
If a community hall is only expecting to hold up to 12 of events in a year they may consider applying for a Temporary Events Notice for each specific event. This is not an application for a licence but a notification by the event organiser advising Bath and North East Somerset Council that an event is going to be held. TENs can be used to authorise ad hoc events held in premises involving no more than 499 people at any one time. The premises user must, no later than 10 working days before the day on which the event is to start, give copies of the notice to Bath and North East Somerset Council and to the relevant chief officer of police. Anyone aged 18 or over who is not a Personal Licence holder can apply for a maximum of five TENs per year. Personal Licence holders can apply for up to 50 TENs per year. There must be a minimum of 24 hours between events in respect of the same premises and each event covered by a TEN can last up to 96 hours. No more than twelve TENs can be given in respect of any particular premises in any year, subject to a maximum aggregate duration of 15 days in any year at any individual premises. Provided that the criteria set out above are met, only the police may intervene to prevent an event or agree a modification of the arrangements for such an event covered by a TEN notice. Police may only object to a TEN on crime prevention grounds. If the police make an objection then Bath and North East Somerset Council will issue a counter notice to the premises user at least 24hrs before the commencement of the event.