Skip To Main Content

Cambridge City Council

Operating schedule

Guidance notes for applicants [PDF, 0.2MB] - The Licensing Act 2003

The following matters should be taken into consideration when completing the operating schedule.

The prevention of crime and disorder

The council is committed to reducing crime and disorder within the city and creating an environment where people feel safe.

The council will expect applicants to demonstrate in their operating plan that suitable and sufficient measures have been identified and will be implemented and maintained, to regulate behaviour and prevent crime and disorder on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the premises, when people seek entry or to leave.

Although influencing factors and control measures will be individual to the premises and events, applicants should demonstrate consideration for:

  • underage drinking
  • drunkenness on the premises
  • public drunkenness
  • misuse of drugs
  • violent behaviour
  • antisocial behaviour.

The following examples of control measures are considered to be of importance and are given to assist applicants:

  • CCTV both inside and immediately outside premises can actively deter disorder, anti-social behaviour and crime generally
  • not using glass bottles, the use of plastic glasses
  • text and radio pagers may be considered necessary for public houses, bars and nightclubs operating in the city area.
  • participation in the city's Barlink scheme
  • a sufficient number of door supervisors conducting stewarding activities, registered with the Security Industry Authority
  • although most common on public safety grounds, capacity limits and/or an appropriate ratio of tables and chairs to customers based on the capacity may be necessary to prevent overcrowding which can lead to disorder and violence
  • participation in responsible management schemes such as the 'Camsafe' award scheme (see below)
  • provision of litter bins and security measures such as lighting outside premises
  • adoption of existing and future best practice guidance (see below)
  • joining voluntary pubwatch schemes (see below)
    avoidance of irresponsible drinks promotions or discounting which can lead to drunkenness and disorder, which in turn can lead to crime and disorder
  • preparation and implementation of a dispersal policy to minimise the potential for disorder and disturbance as customers leave the premises. This could include measures to disperse customers over an extended period and ensure they leave in an orderly fashion and without bottles or glasses
  • proof of age policies may be applied, including the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) accreditation system, photo driving licences, Cambridgeshire County proof of age scheme and passports
  • crime prevention notices
  • signage (eg, any restrictions on the admission of children).

See Annex D of the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. The guidance is at

Safer Clubbing drugs policy

Nightclubs are an inherent part of social life for young people. Premises should have regard for the Safer Clubbing Guide, which the licensing authority fully endorses and in particular the checklist of important measures contained in Annex J of the guidance issued under section 182 of the Act. eg, Providing free and accessible supplies of cold water, considering the provision of safe transport home, etc.

Premises may wish adopt a written drugs policy and refer to these matters in their operating plan.


In support of the Government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy the police would wish to see an undertaking in the operating plan that any new licensee will join and be a member of the Pubwatch scheme, support its aims and objectives and actively participate in/attend meetings.

Public safety

The public safety objective is concerned with the physical safety of people using the premises. To this end, applicants will be expected to demonstrate in their operating schedule that sufficient measures have been identified and will be implemented and maintained to ensure public safety, relevant to the individual style and characteristics of their premises and events. It is not concerned with public health, which is adequately dealt with in other legislation.

A satisfactory fire risk assessment should be undertaken and submitted with the operating schedule covering the following items (taken from the Guide to Fire Precautions in existing places of entertainment and like premises):

  • satisfactory means of escape (taking into account the number of persons likely to be in the premises and the adequacy of the available escape routes and exit doors)
  • means of giving warning in case of fire (taking into account the size and layout of the premises)
  • portable firefighting equipment (taking into account the general requirement and equipment provided to cover specific risks)
  • normal and secondary lighting (taking into account all areas that may be used)
  • signs and notices (taking into account all fire safety related signs and notices required to indicate the escape routes and ensure the integrity of the escape routes)
  • management responsibilities (taking into account staff fire training and other related responsibilities including assisting persons with disabilities)
  • seating arrangements (taking into account the number, location and type)
  • fire resistance, surface finishes, furniture and furnishings (taking account of relevant guides, codes of practice and British standards)
  • the use and safe management of pyrotechnics and other special effects, including dry ice machines, cryogenic fog, fog generators, real flame, firearms, motor vehicles, strobe lighting, lasers, explosives and highly inflammable substances
  • any other information relevant to the premises.

Other considerations may include:

  • Safe occupancy capacities
    These will only be imposed where necessary for public safety. e.g. if a fire certificate for premises includes certain conditions, it would be unnecessary to repeat these in the premises licence. If, however, the fire certificate were granted when the premises' future use was not known, the licensing authority and fire authority may consider it appropriate to impose a new capacity to apply when the licensable activities are taking place. Capacities attached to premises' licences may also be beneficial in preventing crime and disorder as overcrowded venues can increase the risks of disorder and crowds become frustrated and hostile. See also the small premises section for capacities of up to 200.
  • Effective and responsible management of the premises
  • Provision of a sufficient number of stewards engaged to secure the safety of persons attending the premises or event
  • Appropriate instruction and training of those employed to secure the safety of persons attending.
  • Implementation of crowd management measures
  • Regular testing (and certification where appropriate) of procedures, safety equipment, alarms, appliances and systems etc, pertinent to safety.

Not all of the above will necessarily apply to an application, but neither should the list be seen as exhaustive.

See annexes E and F of the guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. The guidance is at

Advice on fire risk assessment is available in 'FIRE SAFETY: An Employer's Guide (ISBN 0-11-341229-0).

As an employer, you are required to carry out a fire risk assessment under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended). A copy of your assessment will probably be the best method to show that you will achieve a satisfactory standard.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Fire Safety Officers will give as much advice and assistance as necessary to help you meet a satisfactory standard.

Failure to comply with the above to a satisfactory standard may result in your application being returned incomplete or objected to.

Public safety relating to vessels

Where a premises is on a vessel for which a current passenger ship certificate is in force, the public safety objective can generally be considered to be met in respect of the layout, structure, access arrangements and operation of the vessel. It should not be necessary for operators to restate all the statutory safety measures in place under the passenger ship regime on the operating schedule in order to demonstrate how they are meeting the public safety objective for their premises licence. Conditions will not be attached which duplicate or contradict these requirements.

The prevention of public nuisance

Under the prevention of public nuisance objective, the licensing authority and other responsible authorities will focus on impacts of the licensable activities at specific premises on people living, working and sleeping in the vicinity that are disproportionate and unreasonable.

The issues will mainly concern noise nuisance, light pollution, noxious smells, litter and anti-social behaviour. Public nuisance in this context retains the broad common law meaning so can include comparatively low-level nuisance affecting a few people living locally, as well as a major disturbance affecting the whole community.

Simple mechanisms can be put in place, such as ensuring that doors and windows are kept closed to more sophisticated ones like sound level limiters on amplification equipment or sound proofing, where appropriate.

See annex G of the guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. The guidance is at

The protection of children from harm

The protection of children from harm includes the protection of children from moral, psychological and physical harm. This includes the protection of children from too early an exposure to strong language and entertainment of a sexual nature, eg film exhibitions where adult entertainment is provided.

The operating schedule could include:

  • where alcohol is sold, requirements for the production of a proof of age card
  • limitations on the hours that children may be present
  • limitations on the presence of children under certain ages when specified activities are taking place
  • age limitations (below 18)
  • limitations or exclusions when certain activities are taking place
  • requirements for an accompanying adult
  • full exclusion of people under 18 when licensable activities are taking place
  • design and layout of the premises.

Proof of age policies may be applied (see also prevention of crime and disorder above) and support of the Portman Group's code of practice, which seeks to ensure that drinks are packaged and promoted in a socially responsible manner to those 18 years old or over.

Films would normally be classified by the British Board of Film Classification or the local authority and age restrictions strictly adhered to. Many films are unsuitable for viewing by children.

Entertainment specifically for children may require a sufficient number of adult staff to ensure the well being of any children in an emergency.

Although smoke is a public health matter, it is generally recognised that smoke goes to the licensing objective of the protection of children from harm. Applicants should consider what measures, if any, they would propose to protect children from smoke. This might include a family room or a no-smoking area in any parts of the premises which are food-led.

A small number of Amusement with Prizes machines in traditional pubs and bars are not considered to constitute a 'strong element of gambling' as referred to in paragraph 7.5 of our statement of licensing policy [PDF, 0.3MB].

See annex H of the guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. The guidance is at

Cumulative impact

Our cumulative impact assessment seeks to address the potentially detrimental effects of one or more licensing objectives on a concentration of licensed premises in a particular area.

If relevant representations are received indicating that granting a licence will have a negative cumulative impact on an area, there is a presumption that the application will be refused unless the applicant can show that they will not add to the cumulative impact already being experienced.

If your premises fall within a cumulative impact area, you might want to demonstrate that your application will not add to this cumulative impact.

For more information on cumulative impact and the areas involved, read our Cumulative Impact Assessment [PDF, 2.5MB].

Disabled people

Licence holders and clubs are encouraged to provide facilities enabling the admission of disabled people and should be mindful of the duties imposed by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Door supervisors

Security operatives directly employed at licensed premises to carry out a security function must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Competent and professional door supervisors are key to public safety at licensed premises. Licensees may consider:

  • recruiting SIA licensed door supervision staff from a reputable company with SIA Approved Contractor Status
  • measures taken/ procedures in place for licensees to check the SIA register of licensed door supervisors to ensure premises and customers are protected by door supervisors with a SIA licence.

Copyright and royalties

Offences relating to copyright are 'relevant offences' under the Act. Where applicable, you should be aware of the need to obtain Performing Rights Society licences and Phonographic Performances Ltd licences and to ensure other copyright arrangements.