Winning year for licensing project
Westminster Citizens Advice’s unique licensing project, funded by Westminster City Council, has had another winning year with 178 new enquiries opened in 2020, compared to 163 the previous year.
Licensing solicitor Richard Brown represented residents at 39 hearings; advised on 19 cases where representations were withdrawn following agreement with the applicant; and dealt with a further 13 cases where the application was withdrawn after representations had been made. There were also 26 cases where no objections were made after taking Richard’s advice.
“When representing multiple residents, the overall approach we try and take is to assist residents to work together to achieve a common goal, accepting that a balance has to be maintained between business and residents. We are usually able to represent a wide cross section of the objectors and assist in achieving a mutually acceptable result.”
Supporting the twin aims
The twin aims of Citizens Advice dovetail with the remit of the project, providing residents with access to specialist advice and representation. “This is an important step in ensuring that they are empowered to exercise their rights and responsibilities and participate in the democratic process, which has been delegated to the local authority by Parliament,” comments Richard.
“The effective participation of residents in these licensing regimes helps to ensure that the views of all stakeholders are taken into account when the licensing authority exercises its function.”
Read the feedback from residents right across the borough:
“That’s a great result for us, I thought they would get it. Well done everyone!’
‘I would like to thank you for your support, very much appreciated.’
St James’ resident
‘Again it seems all your hard work, as well as the attendance and input of other residents has resulted in some important restrictions.’
Covent Garden resident
‘I want to say a huge thank you – and I know it comes from all of us – for your brilliant work and support.’’
‘You bet it was instructive! – and I can’t thank you enough. I understand much better now what I should focus on in licensing, as opposed to planning, objections!!!’
‘Thank you so much for all of this, and for the kind words as well. My wife and I are profoundly grateful. It has indeed been a difficult time and your help is very truly appreciated.’
For further information:https://www.licensingadvice.org