Tim Deveaux, author of Procedures for Licensing Authority Officers, discusses key aspects of his new book.
Why did Procedures for Licensing Authority Officers need to be written?
It is a natural sister to Environmental Health Procedures which I edited in 2014. There was no comprehensive book for all licences issued by Local Authorities.
How is it different from other books in the field?
It is comprehensive for the licences issued by Local Authorities and it contains flowcharts for each licence so officers can follow the logical progression of a licence until it is issued.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Clarity of procedure and a reference book for all licences issued by Local Authorities.
Can you tell us about the instructor/supplemental materials available with this book?
The flowcharts are easy to follow, they follow the legislation very closely and I have attempted to make the legislation more readable and still keep accurate legal meaning.
What’s new to this edition?
This is the first edition and i hope to update it with a second edition at the appropriate time.
Are there any key messages you’d like to highlight?
The procedures follow the law very closely but I have tries to make it more understandable through less legal language and increasing clarity by bringing all the legislation together on the issue.
Can you share a story or anecdote about your work?
Before I took this task on I thought the largest subject would be taxi licensing. I was right. The subject is enormous! It is duplicated by having legislation applying to London only and other legislation applying to outside London. There is also the quirky legislation which the basis of hackney carriages from 1847. the language is quite different to that used today in legislation. In some cases the1847 legislation refers to things that do not apply today! For example 'any constable may drive the carriage away and deposit it, and the horse or horses harnessed, at some neighbouring livery stable or other place of safe custody'
What are some of the controversies surrounding licensing?
Taxi licensing legislation applying to London only and separate legislation applying to outside London is the subject of government review because of its complexity. It is an issue which needs to be addressed.
The legislation applying to animal boarding establishments and pet shops is due for revision because of the interest in exotic species and the lack of understanding about their care. It is currently being debated and reviewed.
What findings in writing/researching the book surprised you?
The amount of legislation applying to Zoos was very unexpected. Not having any experience of Zoo licensing in my career I was surprised at the breadth of controls that local authorises have. It is reassuring that the controls are there should they be needed and that vulnerable animals have the legislation there to protect them.
How is the field evolving?
As mentioned above there are a number of reviews on licences going on and hopefully that will result in more simplified legislation!
What got you interested in this?
Having edited Bassets Environmental Health Procedures I thought something similar would be useful for local authority officers and others involved in licensing.
What suggestions would you make for change/future research/interventions?
I am considering including case law in the next edition of the book. It all depends on whether its inclusion would make the book too big and unwieldy!!
Licensing law is a wide ranging , detailed and complex body of law within the UK. This book comes at a time when local authorities are required to consider and approve, or reject, applications for an increasing number and very wide range of licences. The book provides easy to read, and…
Hardback – 2015-12-03