Moray Council has begun issuing its annual fee reminder for licensed premises for 2020/21, which is due on 1 October.
Given the difficult operating conditions for licensed premises in 2020 due to the covid-19 crisis the council is keen to give licensed premises as much notice as possible of their obligations to pay the fee.
Payment of the annual fee is a requirement of licensing legislation and is not something the council can choose to waive, similarly the council is legally obliged to issue invoices as an annual reminder.
Chair of Moray Council’s Licensing Board, Cllr Gordon Cowie, said: “We recognise this has been a difficult time for licensed premises and enquiries have been made to the Scottish Government as to whether the law would be changed for annual fees but, to date, there has been no change.
“That means we’re legally obliged to request these fees, which covers the cost to the council of providing the licensing function.
“Our message in advance of invoices being issued is to say please work with us as we do understand the difficulties the industry is facing but we also need to continue to meet our legal obligations. Delayed payment of fees will cause additional administration for licensing staff and that will hamper our ability to return to the normal processing of applications.”