Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 moved the responsibility for the issue of licences for the sale or supply of alcohol from the local magistrates court to the council (the licensing authority).

premises licence or a club premises certificate is needed to carry out what are known as 'licensable activities' in a premises. In certain circumstances, a temporary events notice can be used.

The activities described by the Licensing Act are:

  • any sale of alcohol by retail
  • the supply of alcohol in a members club
  • regulated entertainment, such as films, plays, indoor sports, boxing or wrestling, live or recorded music or dancing
  • late night refreshment (hot food or hot drink between 11pm and 5am the next morning)

Statement of licensing policy

Licensing authorities have to publish a licensing policy statement. This sets out the approach to licensing and enforcement. The policy provides the framework within which applications and other licensing permissions will be considered. 

Our current licensing policy statement was reviewed, approved and published in 2017.

Mandatory conditions

The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010 sets out five conditions that apply to all licensed premises and those with a club premises certificate.

The conditions are to:

  • ban irresponsible promotions
  • ban the dispensing of alcohol directly into the mouth
  • ensure that customers have access to free tap water so that they can space out their drinks and not get intoxicated too quickly
  • require an age verification policy to be in place to prevent underage sales
  • ensure that customers have the opportunity to choose small measures of beers, ciders, spirits and wine

Premises licence register

Under the Licensing Act 2003 we're required to keep a register of all:

  • premises licences
  • club premises certificates
  • personal licences
  • temporary event notices

You can view the register by contacting us.

National guidance to licensing authorities and police

To help licensing authorities in dealing with applications under the Licensing Act, and the police when issuing closure orders

GOV.UK published amended guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 to help:

  • licensing authorities in dealing with applications under the Licensing Act
  • the police when issuing closure orders

More information

Frequently asked questions

What are the licensing objectives?

They are:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the promotion of public safety
  • the protection of children from harm

These licensing objectives are all of equal importance.

What is a personal licence?

A person licence authorises someone to sell or supply alcohol, or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol under the premises licence.

These applications must be made to the council where you normally live. For example, if you live in Rotherham but your pub or club is in Barnsley, you must apply to Rotherham Council for your personal licence.

The licence will last for 10 years before it has to be renewed.

Will I have to pass a licensing exam before I can get a personal licence?

You'll need to attend a recognised training course and pass an exam if you've not held a personal licence before. GOV.UK has a list of accredited qualification providers.

What will you do to help me through the application process?

We'll provide guidance, general advice and be as helpful as possible. However, it's your responsibility to make all the required applications and have your paperwork in order.

With nearly 900 licensed premises in Barnsley, it isn't possible for us to help you with detailed preparation or submission of your application. You may need to seek your own legal advice.

How does the law affect events such as under-18 discos held in nightclubs?

It's unlawful to allow unaccompanied children aged under 18 into relevant premises between midnight and 5am where alcohol is supplied for consumption on the premises. This applies to many nightclubs, as they operate longer hours and have alcohol for sale after midnight.

To hold under-18 discos, premises licence holders must state in their operating schedules what steps they will take to protect children from harm.