Sunday 22 April 2012

Leaflet Licensing: regulation gone mad?

Would he fire Ann John?
Despite the Council's clarification of their understanding of 'political purposes' I am still very sceptical about their proposed leaflet licensing system and whether they will be able to enforce it.  For those of you who have not been able (or could not face) downloading the document I print below the proposed Licence Conditions for Distribution of Free Literature.  It made me feel sorry for the poor small businesses trying to make a crust faced with this tangle of regulation.
All licences will be subject to the following standard conditions. Licences may also be subject to specific conditions based upon the application details.

1. All staff engaged in the distribution of free literature shall wear an authorisation badge with photograph of the distributor issued by Brent Council bearing the licence number and showing the name, address and contact telephone number of the licence holder so that it is clearly visible.

2. The above authorisation shall be produced on demand to an authorised officer of the Council or other relevant agency, such as the police.

3. All staff engaged in the distribution of free literature shall wear a hi-visibility safety tabard provided by the licence holder and marked ‘Authorised Distributor’.

4. No free literature shall be left unattended by staff for the general public to take at their discretion.

5. All places in the vicinity of free literature distribution, must be kept free of discarded literature so that the area does not fall below grade B of the Government’s Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse at any time. If an authorised officer of the council judges that the standard has been breached as a consequence of the distribution of free materials, his judgement will be definitive at the time. Challenges to that assessment will only be accepted
through the formal appeal process.

6. The free literature must bear the name and address of the licence holder who is responsible for its distribution unless exemptions have been agreed by the Council.

7. Applications for consent must be made not less than 14 days before the required date for the distribution of free literature.

8. Licences will be subject to the payment of a fee to be paid at the time of the application.

9. No free literature shall be placed on, attached to, affixed to vehicles, buildings, street furniture, telephone boxes or structures.

10. No free literature which encourages irresponsible consumption of alcohol can be distributed. This includes examples of: offering free alcoholic drinks; drink vouches; discounted drink offers; all in bar offers; unduly cheap sales; happy hours and similar promotions. It is recommended that responsible promotions for alcohol carry the Drink Aware message.

11. If an authorised officer requests the consented staff to pick up discarded literature, the staff member shall do so immediately.

12. If litter is created which is in need of urgent clean up, the licence holder will be liable for the full cost of the necessary street cleaning operation.
Can you imagine the contestants on the Apprentice trying to tackle their assignments in Brent?

Seriously, have the Council the capacity and the police the time, to enforce this?


Ossian said...

They have too much time. Fire them all. No licence for bureacratic imbecility. Their work expands to fill the aimless, pointless space of their existence. It all makes me want to scream. Before a single library was closed, every single bean counter and numbskull like the people who came up with that should have been fired. Saving achieved.

The Local Don said...

Its all about point 8.

The Local Don.