Vol­un­tary groups to get free li­cences

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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’.

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