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Independent Fees Review Panel

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many of the recommendations of the interim report of the Independent Fees Review Panel her Department has implemented; and if she will make a statement. (93867)

I wrote to Sir Les Elton in July about implementing the recommendations in the Licensing Fees Review Panel’s interim report.

As part of the initial review of Statutory Guidance to licensing authorities, we have already clarified the position on premises plans.

We have also clarified the position for licensing authorities on the development of collective working practices and are exploring good practice in this area for wider dissemination.

A central source of information for licence payers about the Licensing Act 2003 will be completed later this autumn.

We have considered the possibility of simplifying the application process by introducing alternative methods of advertising applications. We will consult on options when considering any possible amendments to regulations.

We have also agreed in principle to the panel’s recommendation for a single date for payment of the annual fee. We are considering the technical aspects (such as transitional arrangements) and the options for which date to adopt. Licence holders will be given notice before new arrangements are brought in and we have been clear in the meantime, they should continue to pay their annual fee as the current law requires.