Mr Elton will preside over the independent panel, which will include representatives from the trade and leisure industries, community groups and local authorities.
* consider whether the fees cover the full cost to licensing
* identify the scale, extent and nature of any problems
* make recommendations about how the existing fee structure and
levels could be developed
* ensure best practice is being fully realised across all
* identify how the regime could be developed to address any other
Licensing minister James Purnell said:
'Sir Les has worked in local government for much of his career. He's
been at the frontline, he knows we need a fee structure that delivers
for local authorities, the leisure industry and the public.
'We have always said that if the independent panel finds the fees are
too high or too low, we will adjust them accordingly.'
Sir Les said:
'I am very pleased to have been appointed as chair of the independent
fees review panel. This is an important piece of work which is of
keen interest to all stakeholders affected by the new Licensing laws,
including businesses, community facility providers and local
'The independence of this panel is critical to the validity of the
review and I consider my role to be neutral in that process.'
It is anticipated that the panel will issue an interim review around
October this year and the final report will follow in autumn 2006.
1. From 2004 until the present date, Mr Elton was the non
executive director Port of Tyne Authority, visiting professor,
Business School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne; associate with
Sovereign Strategy Ltd and consultant to several firms and public
bodies. From 1984-2004 he was the chief executive of Gateshead
Council & clerk to Northumbria Police Authority.
2. The panel will be supported by a secretariat. This will draw
together information provided by the Local Government Association, individual licensing authorities, industry, LACORS and other stakeholders, and produce a
framework for analysis.