Yesterday was the last licensing board before the Licensing Act comes into force on the 1st September.
We had gradually increased the number of meetings until we were convening every week to beat the deadline.
Profits for lawyers and architects must have gone through the roof in the past year or so as all the licensees sought to comply with the legislation. It has been an expensive process for them, and I can only sympathise as the trade does not have its troubles to seek just now.
The board is a quasi judicial body, so it's not quite a court, but not quite a council meeting either.
It lasted six hours and was particularly difficult by the end. Some of the lawyers representing licensees can be quite good humoured, others can be nothing short of a pain in the backside. Sometimes you get the impression that the odd one thinks he is in an episode of 'Murder One' or something.
One exchange between me and a licensee has already done the rounds of the council though:
Licensee: "I have brought no paperwork with me, but you may ask me questions if you want."
Me: "Ok, what's the top speed of a cheetah?"
Suppose you had to be there, but it was funny at the time.
I'll get my coat......