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Advertising applications for premises licences in a local newspaper, as per the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003

Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.


*There is a non-public appendix at Item No.13.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection seeking to clarify the guidance the Licensing Authority provides in

relation to the requirement to advertise an application for a premises licence in a ‘local newspaper’ under section 17 (5) of the Licensing Act 2003 and Regulation 25 of the Licensing Act 2003 (Premises and Club Certificates) Regulations 2005. The following comments were made:


·         Members were advised that a review of the guidance was motivated by regular queries from applicants.


·         It was noted that there were five newspapers with regular circulations within the City of London (The London Evening Standard, The Metro, City AM, City Matters and The Islington Tribune); however, these could be assessed in relation to their suitability.


·         The Comptroller & City Solicitor confirmed that from a legal position, the Corporation was not obliged to provide an approved list and simply had to be satisfied that an advert had been adequately publicised in the vicinity of the premises. The responsibility to advertise licensing applications correctly was therefore on the applicant.   


·         Members discussed whether City Matters, which is published fortnightly, and particularly The Islington Tribune, which is published weekly on a Friday and was not specifically City based, were adequate newspapers in which to advertise licensing applications. Some Members felt that they should be removed from the list altogether as even the potential option to use them gave applicants potential for mistake.


·         Some Members were uncomfortable removing two newspapers from the list which could be considered appropriate albeit not on all occasions. A Member felt that there was no gain from being minimalistic and suggested changing the wording to highlight the three most widely publicised newspapers as the preferred choices.  


·         It was highlighted that the wording stated that “the City of London recognises the following as being local newspapers for its area”, not recommended.  


·         A Member stated that the legislation was very clear that an application needed to be advertised “in the vicinity of the premises” and this was the responsibility of the applicant. The Member therefore felt that the Corporation, as a Local Authority, had no legal responsibility to clarify which newspapers should be used which was difficult in itself as the City has no local newspaper.


·         It was noted that whilst the legal position was clear, it was included within the Licensing Policy that assistance/advice would be given to applicants to ensure they completed applications correctly. Some Members felt that a balance was therefore needed noting that the Corporation has often been praised for its sound advice as a Local Authority.

·         A Member stated that they had tried on several occasions to get an Islington Tribune newspaper from Liverpool Street Station and had never found one.


·         Members queried whether the wording for paragraphs 13 and 14 contradicted each other. As Members could not come to an agreement over the wording provided, it was agreed that Officers would readdress the wording which could cause confusion and bring the report to the next Committee meeting for approval.     


RESOLVED – That the wording be changed and the report be brought to the next Committee meeting.



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