On November 1st TARA hosted a seminar at St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, exploring new opportunities for residents’ groups seeking to work within current legislation to improve the management of the night time economy, particularly in city centres.  The seminar was conducted by Leo Charalambides of FTB Chambers, a barrister who specialises in licensing law and is editor of the Journal of Licensing. The event used as a frame of reference the recently amended Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 which reflects the many changes to legislation made over the last year as well as case law.  In addition to representatives of city centre residents’ association we were pleased to welcome representatives of the Licencing Authority and the Avon and Somerset Police.

Leo emphasized the importance for all stakeholders of familiarity with the new guidance, just now coming into force.  Although the importance of licensed premises in the local economy is recognised, emphasis is given to encouraging greater community involvement in licensing decisions. The changes to the legislation give licensing authorities additional powers and responsibilities to effectively manage the night time economy and protecting the public from crime, anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance.

One of the messages that clearly emerged from this event is the importance of residents working together in a disciplined way.

We will now be looking to build on the success of this event to build closer working arrangements with other city centre residents’ associations to apply what we have learnt in making representations to ensure premises are operating within a framework that acknowledges the legitimate concerns and interests of their neighbours.
We would like to formally record our thanks to Leo for taking time out from his busy schedule to share is knowledge and experience with us.