Some may remember that a few issues back (C-Store June 3) I wrote about Stephen and Lesley Devereux’ frustration with putting their daughter Simone through a £150 licensing course to go with her application for a new personal licence only to discover that the certificate was no longer recognised. The goal posts had been moved while no one was looking. The family, who run Cocktails/Chocolate Box at Littleborough in Lancashire, were totally ticked off because they had tried so hard to do it all correctly and in good time.

On a brighter note, at the end of June Stephen Devereux was told that his application to transfer his licence under ‘grandfather’ rights has been rubber stamped. He asked again about courses for personal licences and the council not only told him that there were no recognised courses in Rochdale because there was no one qualified to conduct them, but also that they believed that this was a national problem.

Given that there are nearly 400 local authorities, I can’t check it out. And I think the right hand often doesn’t know what the left is doing – so if anyone out there has come across the right course (not B11AB Level 2 National Certificate for Licensees/Off licence – this is now redundant) please let me know.

I must also add my voice to all the others urging those of you who haven’t applied yet to do so ASAP. Rochdale council said that only 13% of the 800 who need to apply had done so by the end of June. Licensing minister James Purnell says that, because it is primary legislation, the deadline of August 6 cannot be extended. If your application is late and incorrect, you’ll have to apply all over again.

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