Tragic tale of
a retailer's double loss

This is a very sad story on two fronts. Karmail Singh, a newsagent in Wolverhampton, not only lost his mother in December, but has now temporarily lost his off licence for a minimum of 28 days because he didn't notify the local council of her death within seven days.
His council would appear to send out renewal reminders (bear in mind they don't have to) but were late in doing so. Karmail's mother was the premises licence holder, whereas Karmail holds a personal licence. The family has held a licence for the premises for 30 years.
So through a misunderstanding on Karmail's part (that he could transfer the premises licence when he got the renewal notice) along with the distraction of bereavement and a certain amount of vagueness from the local council still getting to grips with the new laws, the upshot was a call from the police, sympathetic but adamant. He had to cover up the booze shelves for at least 28 days while a new premises licence was processed.
I referred Karmail to licensing and training specialist Lockett & Co, and here is as good a time as any to tell you about its Premises Licence Manual, which is approved by BIIAB and endorsed by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
It covers not just application procedures, but also the use of premises for licensable activities such as the sale of alcohol and the provision of late-night refreshment. It is clear, comprehensive and user-friendly, can be used to train staff and will go some way to show that you are following due-diligence procedures should a mishap occur.
The manual, which will last you until the law changes again (that took decades the last time), costs £89 plus VAT, but is £20 cheaper to members of organisations like the ACS, the newsagents' and subpostmasters' federations, the Petrol Retailers Association and symbol groups such as Spar, Londis and Costcutter.
The firm also offers mini guides to selling alcohol that you can hand out to staff.
If you want to know more, call Lockett & Co on 0845 2305625.