Boston Borough Council has said it can only administer licence applications ‘within the legislation laid down by Central Government’ - saying that if applications meet all requirements ‘the assumption will be for the application to be approved’.
A spokesman for the council confirmed that as of April 1, 2016, there were 98 premises licenced across the borough for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises, but not the sale for consumption on the premises. They said that since April 1, the authority had received four new premises licences applications of all types and 11 licences had been surrendered. The figures include: supermarkets, wholesalers, small and medium sized grocery shops, garages, internet sales (internet or telephone orders), garden centres/farm shops, department stores, chain stores, florists, hot food takeaways, a wine merchant, newsagents, post offices, fishmonger and warehouses. They exclude premises such as pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, schools and village halls.
The spokesman said: “The council has responsibility for administering licence applications, but only within the legislation laid down by central Government. If an application meets all the requirements the assumption will be for the application to be approved; the licensing authority has no discretion in these cases. In cases where they are not granted, or licences are revoked, it may be because the rules have been breached or there is evidence that the licensing objectives will not be promoted. Such objections to licences being granted or reviews normally come from the police.”
The spokesman added: “The council has no requirement to keep separate information for what categories of premises have licences to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. It must also be considered that while new licences for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises may be granted others are surrendered, suspended, lapse or are revoked.”