Gambling policy Part A
6.1 Interested parties can make representations about licence applications, or apply for a review of an existing licence. These parties are defined in the Gambling Act 2005 as follows:
“For the purposes of this Part a person is an interested party in relation to an application for or in respect of a premises licence if, in the opinion of the Licensing Authority which issues the licence or to which the applications is made, the person -
- lives sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the authorised activities,
- has business interests that might be affected by the authorised activities, or
- represents persons who satisfy paragraph (a) or (b)”
6.2 The Council is required by regulations to state the principles it will apply in exercising its powers under the Gambling Act 2005 to determine whether a person is an interested party. The principles are as follows.
Each case will be decided upon its merits. This authority will not apply a rigid rule to its decision making. It will consider the examples of considerations provided in the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to local authorities at 8.12 to 8.17. These may include amongst other things:
- The size of the premises;
- The nature of the premises;
- The distance of the premises from the location of the person making the representation;
- The potential impact of the premises (e.g. number of customers, routes likely to be taken by those visiting the establishment); and
- The circumstances of the complainant in so much as the effect could have a different meaning for different types of premises. E.g. a private residence, a school with truanting problems, a home for vulnerable persons.
6.3 The Gambling Commission has recommended that the Council state that interested parties could include bodies such as trade associations, trade unions, residents and tenants’ associations provided they satisfy the definition of an interested party in section 158 of the Act. In other cases the Council will probably wish to satisfy themselves on a case by case basis, and possibly request written evidence, that a person does represent interested parties; for example a school head or governor might act in representing the interests of pupils or parents and a community group might represent vulnerable people living near to the proposed premises.
6.4 Interested parties can be persons who are democratically elected such as Councillors and MP’s. Where appropriate this will include county, parish and town councillors. Other than these persons, the Council will require written evidence that a person ‘represents’ someone who either lives sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the authorities activities and/or business interests that might be affected by the authorised activities. A letter from one of these persons, requesting the representation is sufficient.
6.5 If individuals wish to approach Councillors to ask them to represent their views then care should be taken that the Councillors are not part of the Licensing Committee dealing with the licence application. If there are any doubts then please contact the licensing department at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, The Campus, WGC, Hertfordshire, AL8 6AE.