Briefing: Licensing Fees – Hemming, Westminster and Aylesbury Vale

Councillor Mehboob Khan, Chair of the LGA Safer and Stronger Communities Board, has written to community safety portfolio holders about two recent court cases that have significant implications for all licensing fee regimes, ranging from taxis and street trading, to alcohol and gambling licences.

Both cases are already resulting in increased scrutiny and challenge of the fees charged by councils for licences and permits, and the process which leads to the granting of a licence.  Both have potential implications for enforcement activity.

The letter includes a briefing that provides councils with a summary of the recent Hemming v Westminster City Council case and the implications for councils more widely. The case impacts on the type of costs that councils can recover through locally set licence fees and the processes councils have in place to ensure fee setting is transparent and open to scrutiny. We recommend that legal services and licensing departments use this brief to discuss the impact of the case for their council.

The LGA is interested in hearing directly from members that have concerns about the implications of the Hemming v Westminster case for their council, particularly in relation to cost recovery or where any outstanding legal issues have not been resolved by this paper. Please do contact [email protected] or [email protected] to ensure we can act effectively on your behalf.