Business owners who miss licence fee payments in Northampton could be closed under new rules

Northampton Borough Council is consulting on whether to adopt new licensing powers, such as being able to suspend the licences of non-payers and to increase the number of temporary events a venue can hold each year from 12 to 15.
Northampton Borough Council is consulting on whether to adopt new licensing powers, such as being able to suspend the licences of non-payers and to increase the number of temporary events a venue can hold each year from 12 to 15.
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Pubs, newsagents and taxis in Northampton could face suspensions for not paying annual licence fees if the borough council adopts new powers in 2016.

The authority is reviewing how it uses the Licensing Act and has launched a consultation this week on whether to add a number of new powers since it last drew up a policy in 2011.

If its draft proposals are approved, from 2016 Northampton Borough Council could automatically suspend licence holders who do not pay annual fees.

It is also proposing environmental health officers will be able to make formal objections to temporary event notices, such as Northampton Carnival and the Balloon Fair, though venues will be able to hold more such events in the space of a year.

Councillor Alan Bottwood, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Through our licensing powers we can make sure that everyone enjoys their time in our town.

“As a customer or visitor to Northampton you have the right to expect things to be well managed and organised.

“As part of our review we are looking to update how we use the Licensing Act to protect the public and make sure everyone coming into Northampton can focus on enjoying themselves without having to worry about what is or isn’t happening behind the scenes.”

The council uses the Licensing Act to determine whether a licence should be awarded, where restrictions should be implemented and the circumstances where a review or suspension is appropriate.

It also uses the powers to determine whether temporary events, like St Crispin’s Street Fair, or are granted licences.

Under the new rules being proposed the council is looking to increase the number of temporary events a venue can hold each year from 12 to 15.

Though some councils charge a hefty Late Night Levy, or an Early Morning Restriction Orders on those pubs and clubs which open until the early hours, Northampton Borough draft policy for 2016 to 2021 is not proposing to adopt the measures.

The consultation closes on Monday, December 28 with any feedback being discussed in the new year.

To take part in the online survey head to www.surveymonkey.com/r/2015LicPolicyReview