The call from local authorities to make licensing simpler for businesses has been acknowledged - with the government’s Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) working with regulators to deliver single online application processes.
The Autumn Statement published on Wednesday, 3 December, included a simplification programme for licensing. The government set an expectation that, by 2018, every local authority in England will offer a single online application process, where businesses only need register their details once, and ensure that information on licensing requirements is streamlined and accessible online.
The government, through BRDO, will monitor implementation of this. BRDO will work with local authorities to remove blockages to simplification and gather evidence of any legislative barriers that local authorities identify to streamlining processes and reducing burdens on business.
BRDO is already working on related programmes with a number of local authorities. In particular, there are two grant funded programmes with Cornwall and Mole Valley Councils. There are also opportunities for other interested local regulators to work with BRDO on simplifying the licensing process.
The Autumn Statement announcement is in response to the Local Government Association report, Open for business: rewiring licensing. This claimed that the current system is outdated with businesses and councils having to negotiate a licensing system that is inflexible, complex and places unnecessary costs and burdens on both.