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Licensed Premises

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in what languages examinations for a personal licence to operate a pub, club or off licence can be taken. (270705)

[holding answer 23 April 2009]: The Department's criteria for accredited personal licence course providers do not stipulate that examinations must be taken in languages other than English. Course providers are free to make a commercial decision to allow the examination to be taken in other languages if there is a demand for such a service.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what requirements there are on designated premises supervisors to be present at the licensed establishment for which they are responsible; who takes responsibility when the supervisor is absent; and if he will make a statement. (270706)

[holding answer 23 April 2009]: Under the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act"), a premises licence must require that every supply of alcohol must be made or authorised by a person who holds a personal licence. Each premises licence authorising the supply of alcohol must specify one individual holding a personal licence as the designated premises supervisor ("DPS"). A DPS has no other unique statutory responsibilities other than those which apply to personal licence holders or more generally, to all persons retailing alcohol, such as the prohibitions on sales to people under 18 years or to people who are drunk. Any number of personal licence holders may be employed at the premises and the purpose of specifying one personal licence holder as the DPS is so that the police and other authorised persons under the Act have a single point of contact should some action need to be taken at the premises.

The Act itself does not require that the designated premises supervisor (DPS) should be present on licensed premises at all times when alcohol is sold. Indeed, given that the premises could be authorised to retail alcohol for up to 24 hours a day for 365 days each year, it would be unreasonable and probably unlawful to expect a single employee to be present at all times. Compliance with licensing law remains the responsibility of the premises licence holder (which may be a business, an organisation or an individual) at all times and cannot be delegated. Where necessary for the promotion of one or more of the four licensing objectives, a condition can be attached to a premises licence requiring the presence at all times of a personal licence holder.