Voluntary groups to get free licences
VOLUNTARY organisations will not have to pay a fee to hold events, Argyll and Bute Council has decided.
From November 1, 2016, a change in the law meant voluntary organisations running an event such as a dance will have to apply for a public entertainments licence, rather than, as previously, an occasional licence.
Councillors on the Protective Services and Licensing Committee were presented with three options to choose from: not charging voluntary groups, charging a £40 fee for the third and subsequent events, or ‘an alternative charging arrangement’.
In a report, council officers estimated that 140 events run by voluntary groups would now need a public entertainments licence, generating an income of £18,060 for the council if fees were charged at the usual rate of £125.
But, they argued, the legislative change would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on ‘the capacity of voluntary organisations to hold licensed events’, and concluded that councillors may determine the fees should be waived or reduced.
The councillors agreed, voting ‘to continue not charging a fee for events (indoor or outdoor) where the event is organised by a formally constituted voluntary group based in Argyll and Bute’.