EVENT organisers and the owners of licensed premises are being reminded by West Somerset Council to apply for temporary event notices (TENs) now to ensure their Christmas celebrations are stress-free.
TENs apply to the sale of alcohol and regulated entertainments, such as live music.
Licensing committee chairman Councillor Jenny Hill said: “This year, Christmas Eve falls on a Wednesday, so people need to check the hours on their premises licence or club premises certificate for Wednesday evenings.
“Quite often, premises have earlier closing times during the week and, if this is the case, businesses will need to either apply for a temporary event notice or for a permanent variation to the licence if they wish to have longer opening hours.”
It takes a minimum of 10 clear working days, which excludes Bank Holidays and weekends, to process applications for TENs.
This means that applications for TENs for Christmas Eve must be received by December 9 at the latest.
However, the district council recommends applying for TENs a month in advance to ensure the deadline is not missed and that applications can be processed in plenty of time, leaving event organisers free to plan their celebrations.
Councillor Hill said: “The last thing the council wants to be is a killjoy because we appreciate all the hard work that goes into special festive events.
“However, Government legislation is clear on the timescales for processing TENs and local authorities have no discretion on accepting late applications.
“This is why we are urging people to apply now.
“With New Year’s Eve also falling on a Wednesday, people should check their licences to ensure they are covered for both dates.
“Also, not all licences provide for an extension of hours on New Year’s Day, so people need to check carefully, and apply for TENs accordingly.
“Any TEN that extends to past midnight is classed as two days out of the 15 days permitted within the calendar year.”
The council offices will be closed from 1 pm on Wednesday, December 24, until Monday, January 5, 2009.
More information on TENs and other licensing laws is available on West Somerset Council’s website at www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk, or by emailing email@example.com or calling customer services on 01643 703704.