Falkirk restaurant licence revoked after annual board fees not paid

Taste Restaurant in Falkirk's High Street has had its licence revoked after not paying any annual licensing fees.

Taste Smokehouse Bar/Grill; Falkirk

Members of Falkirk Council's licensing board heard that despite numerous attempts to contact the restaurant's licence holder, Kyle Murray, he had not engaged with licensing officers.

This resulted in him breaching a section 14 compliance notice.

The restaurant opened in October 2019 and Mr Murray held a provisional premises licence before being granted a full licence in February 2020 - just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Paying the annual fee is a mandatory condition of having a licence and all 350 of Falkirk's licenced premises received their bills last August - paying between £150 and £900 depending on the rateable value of the property.

Licensing officers were asked to be "pragmatic and flexible" when gathering fees last year, recognising that on-sales premises in particular have had a very challenging time.

Board members heard that several licence holders did get in touch to say they were having difficulties but in the end Mr Murray was only licence holder who had not paid any fees.

A review was requested at a meeting of the licensing board today (Tuesday) but Mr Murray did not attend or send representation.

Board convener Niall Coleman said he could see no alternative than to revoke the premises' licence.

He said: "The message going out to the hospitality sector today is that businesses should pay their licence - and if you can't pay it, talk to us".

Mr Murray's personal licence - which was granted by another authority - will not be affected.

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