Some may remember Iain Lyall’s saga with his council over personal licence renewals (C-Store, 15 Jan). Because Glan Conwy General Stores had received no reminder from the council (they don’t have to remind anymore), he paid what he thought he owed for his annual premises licence, but he also enquired under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 just how many others under its jurisdiction paid on time with no reminders.

He got an answer from the head of regulatory services for Conwy County Borough. Iain says: “So, of 502 licensed premises due to pay renewal fees in November, only 21 (yes, 21) did so in time – that is just 4%. There are 126 payments still outstanding at the time of his letter on 20 January, which is 25% of the money that is six weeks overdue. Take into account that, within the 502 that were due, these will include national chains of hotels, breweries and retailers, some of which will be for somewhat larger fees than my £70.”

Included in the reply was a letter from the Home Office on the renewal arrangements for 2015 for personal licences together with some renewal factsheets. It amounted to 11 attachments all told and I needed a lie down after that morning’s work.

Iain said he loved the very last paragraph on the factsheet. Goes like this: “How will I prove that my licence is still valid if it contains an expiry date?”

The answer was: “You may use the acknowledgement from the licensing authority as proof that the licence has been renewed.”

I rather liked the one before that: “My personal licence has an expiry date – does that mean it will expire?”

The answer: “Licences with an expiry date will remain valid after they have been renewed.”