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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Arrangements for Licensing Service

We are currently running a reduced garden waste collection service until Monday June 15, when fortnightly collections will return. For more information, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/gwr.

For the latest information on service changes, advice and support, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/coronavirus.

In light of recent government advice about coronavirus we have had to make some changes to the licensing service, and some of these may affect you and your business.

These changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus, and to keep our staff and our customers safe.

Please be assured that we are working to deliver our services, but in some circumstances, we have had no choice but to temporarily suspend the service. Our priority will be to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible.

This is a difficult and unprecedented situation. We will continue to monitor the situation, and this web page will be kept up to date with all changes, including when normal service will resume.

New and updated information about business support in Charnwood can also be found here: www.charnwood.gov.uk/coronavirus_business_support.

Staffing / telephones

At the moment, most of our Officers are working from home as advised by the Government and this will unfortunately impact on the services we can offer, in particular telephone calls.

The Licensing Office will be manned each day for a limited period for essential work only and we will pick up calls where possible.

If you have an urgent enquiry, please email the Licensing Team licensing@charnwood.gov.uk and we will aim to respond to you within 5 working days.

Licensing Act 2003 Applications

Officers are still working to process Licensing Act 2003 Applications.

A list of applications received each week can be found on this webpage.

Please apply online (via Direct Gov) as we are unable to collect posted applications on a regular basis. Charnwood Borough Council does not accept Licensing Act 2003 applications via email. Please only make Applications which are essential.

Information on each licence type together with a link to apply online via Direct.Gov can be found on this webpage. Alternatively, you can go straight to the Gov.uk website.

Should you encounter any problems using these forms or wish to find out more, you can visit the Gov.uk website or contact their support team at licensing-authorities@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk.

If you have a particular question or want to apply for a licence and need help, please email licensing@charnwood.gov.uk before you go ahead. We will respond to you within 5 working days.

Object to an application

Information for anyone wishing to make a representation on applications for a new premises licence or club premises certificate or to a variation of those licences or certificates can be found on this webpage.

Whilst we will endeavor to go ahead with any hearings that are necessary, they may be deferred under the hearings regulations to a date outside the normal timescales. Alternative ways of holding hearings are being explored.

Have you already applied for a licence?

Please bear with us during these unprecedented times. We will issue your licence as soon as we are able.

Information for Licensed Premises

To reduce social contact, the government has ordered a number of businesses and venues to close with some exceptions. Takeaway and delivery facilities may remain open and operational. Further information can be found on the Government website.

Unfortunately some licensed premises may remain open despite the Government advice to close and stay closed. Should you have concerns that a premises remains open, please provide further information, by email to Env.health@charnwood.gov.uk.

We will monitor premises closures under emergency legislation.

We aim to respond to issues that arise, without visits unless essential.

In the event that the hospitality industry will start re-opening premises from the July 4, 2020, Poppleston Allen, Licensing Solicitors have identified a number of issues that premise licence holders may wish to take into account in their preparation for reopening. Details of the checklist can be found in this document.

If you have a query for the licensing team please email licensing@charnwood.gov.uk.

Taxi licensing

Face to face appointments

All face to face appointments for applications in respect of private hire / hackney carriage licences have been suspended until further notice. The appointment system will re-open when normal service resumes.

Knowledge tests

All knowledge tests have been suspended until further notice. We will contact all applicants to re-arrange any booked test when normal service resumes.

Vehicle inspections

Charnwood Borough Council requests all licensed vehicles to have a Certificate of Compliance as opposed to an MOT. 

Although the government has announced that there will be an extension to existing MOT certificates for cars, vans and motorbikes from March 31, 2020, this does not cover Certificates of Compliance as confirmed by the Department of Transport (DFT) due to the certificates of compliance being issued by local authorities under their own powers.

Currently, two of our Authorised Garages remain open testing and as such compliance certificates can be obtained. Should this change the Council will update the web page accordingly.

Loughborough MOT & Service Centre situated on 34 Moira Street, Loughborough, LE11 1AU will continue to test licensed vehicles on Mondays only. If you want to book ring 01509 213838 and it will divert to a mobile number so that you can make the booking.

Ark Motors situated on 38 Cossington Road, Sileby, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 7RS will continue to test licensed vehicles on Monday to Thursday 08:00 to 18:00 and Fridays 08:00 to 17:30. If you want to book ring 01509 812269.

New applications

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting any application for new Private Hire / Hackney Carriage licences at this time. This is for Drivers, Operators and Vehicles. Our priority at this time is to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible.

Renewals applications

The following arrangements have been put in place to ensure that we can continue to deliver a service which allows you to continue to operate at this time and ensures continuity of your licence.

Drivers

During this current situation, all licence holders who wish to renew an existing private hire / hackney carriage driver licence must register their intention by completing the below form:

Only those that register their interest will be entitled to continue to use their licence (after the expiry date has passed) until such time as a full renewal application can be submitted.

Please email your completed form to licensing@charnwood.gov.uk.

All applications will be acknowledged, and you will be provided with an authorisation letter. You must keep this with you when driving a private hire / hackney carriage vehicle as evidence of your entitlement to continue to drive, as you will not receive a new licence or identification badge at this time.

Once the Licensing Service re-opens you will be required to submit a full renewal application within a specified period, which will include:

  • A completed application form
  • The payment of the relevant fee
  • Your current DVLA licence (and a utility bill if the address on your driver’s licence has changed.)
  • A completed DVLA mandate
  • A satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) application along with ID requirements
  • A satisfactory medical report
  • Evidence of your entitlement to work in the UK
  • A Certificate of Good Conduct, if required (translated into English and no more than three months old at time of presentation).
  • One passport photograph

Vehicles

During this current situation, all licence holders who wish to renew an existing Private Hire / Hackney Carriage vehicle licence must submit an application form by completing the below form.

Email your completed application to licensing@charnwood.gov.uk along with the following documents:

  • V5 Logbook
  • Insurance certificate or cover note (at least 7 days cover), or alternatively ask your Insurance Company to send this to us on your behalf.
  • Compliance certificate issued by the garage

The Licensing staff will contact you to pay the relevant fee when able.

(Please note that document attachments can be scanned or a photo but these must be complete and legible/readable) 

Only those that successfully submit a completed online application form and pay the appropriate fee will be entitled to continue to use their licence (after the expiry date has passed).

All applications will be acknowledged, and you will be provided with an authorisation letter.  

You must keep this with you when driving a private hire / hackney carriage vehicle as evidence of your entitlement to continue to drive, as you will not receive new identification plates or a licence document immediately.

Once your renewed plates have been made and your renewed licence has been printed Licensing will contact you to arrange delivery.

Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance

We are aware that the taxis and private hire vehicle trade are undertaking delivery work – please see the section on ‘Deliveries’ as well as ‘Transport businesses’ at the Government website. Measures contained in the section on ‘Use of private vehicles and car-pooling’ would apply to the taxi and private hire vehicle sector e.g. maintain good ventilation.

Vehicle Insurance for undertaking deliveries

Association of British Insurers (ABI) motor insurance members have committed to support taxi and private hire drivers seeking alternative sources of income: licenced taxi or private hire drivers that had hire or reward insurance in place, as of 8 March, will not need to contact their insurer to extend their your existing cover while driving this vehicle to carry parcels, medical supplies, household goods, groceries or takeaway meals during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The ABI’s commitment will be in place until the end of the Covid-19 restrictions, or until 31 July 2020, whichever is sooner. Please visit the ABI website for further information.

Enquiries

We would ask that you keep referring to this page for updates.

If you have any questions that are not covered on this page please contact us by email licensing@charnwood.gov.uk and we will aim to respond to you within five working days.

Please be aware that we are not in a position at this time to confirm when our face to face service will resume.

Thank you for your cooperation at this difficult time and stay safe.

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