Wrong advice

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I refer to your piece, ‘Licence backlash prompts council notices re-think’ (Herald, January 15). I don’t believe that the re-think should be limited to the notices. It should be extended to Adur District Council’s licensing unit.

I say this because the licensing unit provided, at best, poor advice throughout the SJM Ltd application for a music festival.

For instance, I was given the wrong closing date for representations, December 4 not 5.

I was also told that objectors could only read out their letters at the hearing, when, in fact, they were entitled to put their case and question the applicant.

I was also told that the application could not be refused, ‘because there was a big legal team behind the applicant who knew what they were doing’.

I stopped calling them for advice after that, but saw on the council website a statement that the councillors could not take into account ‘traffic management, congestion and medical provision’ at the hearing, when the opposite is true.

Licensing decisions can have a major impact on the community and we, as council taxpayers, are entitled to expect competent officers who know and understand the Licensing Act and are prepared to implement it.

In such circumstances, tinkering with the notices to improve public awareness is a bit like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titantic.

Liz Coward

Falcon Close

Shoreham

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