Privacy

Departments avoid licensing mountain

Departments avoid licensing mountain Social services departments
have avoided becoming swamped with licensing applications by
interpreting government guidance flexibly, it emerged this week as
the deadline for applications loomed.

Guidance as part of the Licensing Act 2003, which comes into
force in November, requires an area child protection committee or a
social services department to look at all new licence applications
or applications for variations to existing licences to assess
whether children will be adequately protected from harm at the
premises in question.

Many councils have set the deadline for applications at the end
of September, and some police forces are working with social
services to filter out applications that present no risk to
children.

John Beer, executive director of health and social care at
Southampton Council, said some police forces were doing “prima
facie” checks and only passing on details of premises that raised
concerns.

He questioned whether the guidance’s requirement represented a
good use of public money and said he had received no extra funding
to carry out the work.

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