Iain Lyall wrote that he kept my article in the 8 May issue (Couldn’t run a p*** up) where I reported that retailers would now get a lifelong personal licence, although not all councils seemed aware.
“I retained this issue as I have very little faith regarding my own local authority of Conwy County Borough Council and almost anticipated their ability to ‘screw up’.”
He goes on: “My personal licence clearly states it expires on 23 November 2015, complete with a 10-year-old mug shot of yours truly. This sits close to the till and is the only reason I was aware of the anniversary of local authorities taking over personal and premises licensing.”
Previously, he always got reminders. He didn’t trust them so he wrote to the head of Regulatory Services, enclosing a cheque for what I thought the renewal cost might be, on 16 November. “I received a letter stating we were no longer required to renew our licences, which we knew, but would not be issued with anything to update the expiry date on our existing photo licences. In addition, they went on to state that ‘the onus is on the licence holder to pay the fee when it becomes due; there is no legal requirement for the council to send a reminder’.”
He sums it up thus: “As I read that, they were expecting 900 licence holders to pay an undisclosed fee to an address they do not provide for a licence which does not expire (premises as well) at a date they do not give, all on an invoice they choose not to issue.
“Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I have requested detail on just how many of the 900 actually paid the ‘correct’ amount to the correct address before the renewal date.”
He got his councillor involved, who requested clarification. The reply was the worst type of bureaucratic bull you can imagine, referencing clause so-and-so and subject to regulation such-and-such and dependant upon which band you fell into which indicated which multiplier you should use. Just imagine John Cleese reading it and you will get the picture.
To sum up: you don’t need to renew your annual personal licence. You just need to pay the annual fee for the premises. And they don’t need to remind you. Got that?