Licensing and regulation

The BBPA offers support to licensees to understand issues surrounding licensing and regulation. Guidance is available on the Licensing Act, as well as other regulatory areas.

  • Rates revaluation - pubs must act quickly to avoid fines and red tape, warns BBPA

    29 March 2019

    If they haven’t already, pubs will soon receive a form of return from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Publicans have just 56 days to complete and return the form, or they could be liable for a penalty Failure to respond could also mean higher business rates bills and fines, BBPA warns pubs The BBPA is alerting publicans that they need to act quickly in response to a looming letter from the VOA about their rateable valuation, if they want to avoid fines and unnecessary ‘red tape’. The call comes because the VOA is once again commencing the data collection process ahead of the next revaluation period, which commences in April 2021. As is practice, the VOA are now writing to licensees requesting trading data that will feed into the revaluation process. This information will be used to calculate the rateable value of every pub in England and Wales, which forms the basis on which every pub’s business rates bill is calculated. From receiving the forms, publicans have an initial 28 days to respond, followed by a second reminder two weeks later, which provides a further two weeks to reply. If the form isn’t returned within this 56 day time-limit, publicans could be liable for a penalty, as well as a longer form to fill out for the VOA. If publicans have any questions about the survey, the VOA encourages the publicans to contact them directly. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “To avoid more hassle and unnecessary paperwork, all licensees should look out for this short form from today and return it as soon as possible. While we continue to lead the call for a fairer rating system for pubs and a total review of business rates, further burdens and inconvenience can be avoided by looking out for this short form from the VOA and acting quickly to fill it in as soon as it arrives.”

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  • PPL’s decision to raise prices by 130% is ‘extremely disappointing’, says BBPA

    19 March 2019

    The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to a decision by Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), which will see the tariff on the Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) licence increase by 130% on average. The SFE licence is used by pubs, nightclubs, cafés and hotels who feature DJs and dancefloors. Commenting on the decision by PPL, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We are extremely disappointed by PPL’s decision to raise the tariff on the SFE licence by 130% on average. “The night time economy is vital to the future of our high streets, but businesses that are crucial to that night time offer like pubs are already struggling, with on average three pubs a day closing their doors for good. This decision will be another big blow to hospitality businesses that are struggling to survive. “For the past 18 months we have been in discussions with PPL and have highlighted how the changes proposed to the tariff would be disproportionate and unwarranted. Whilst PPL have addressed some of these points, our fundamental concern is that increases by 130% on average, and in some cases much more, are not sustainable. “The SFE tariff has consistently grown already through annual RPI increases, which is an increasingly discredited inflation index and is consistently a percentage point above CPI. As a result, those who have been paying SFE licences over the years have already been paying more than their fair share. “We will consult with our members and the wider hospitality industry in more detail on these unreasonable increases. Copyright charges are established by law, but average increases of 130% that undermine the viability of pubs, clubs and the night time economy are not justifiable.”

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