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Licensing and street trading information

The key objective of the central licensing service at Bedford Borough Council is to utilise the Council’s licensing powers to maximise public protection, to protect the consumer and (where appropriate) the welfare of animals and to manage the function to progressively reduce the cost of licensing to the Council.

The Group is responsible for delivery of the licensing functions to the General Licensing Committee and the (Licensing Act 2003) Licensing Committee. These Committees are comprised of elected Councillors and they determine licensing policies. Certain policies will also require the consent of the Executive and of the Full Council.

Officers of the Council fully process the majority of applications and investigate fully issues concerning licensable activity. Individual cases may be referred to a small group of elected Councillors in order for them to determine the appropriate action. These Councillors will then meet as a Sub-Committee of one or other of the Licensing Committees.

Before any Councillor can be a Member of a Licensing Sub-Committee they must have undertaken at least 7.5 hours of training on the Authority’s licensing functions.

The licensing areas that the Unit is responsible for are:

  • Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshments. This includes Personal and Premises Licences/Certificates and Temporary Events.
  • Bookmaker, Bingo and Gaming Machine Premises and Small lotteries.
  • Public Charitable House to House and Street Collections.
  • Animal Boarding, Dangerous Wild Animals, Dog Breeding, Pet Shops, Riding Establishments and Zoos
  • Taxis and Private Hire Operators, Vehicles and Drivers
  • Scrap Metal Dealers and Motor Salvage Operators
  • Sex Establishments
  • Street Trading and Street Cafés/Highways Tables and Chairs.

Certain residual licensing areas are still managed by individual services and these are:

  • Cosmetic Treatment Licence (Environmental Health/Trading Standards)
  • Sunday Trading (Environmental Health/Trading Standards)

If you would like to receive an application form by post, please use the link below which will generate a request with your requirements.

Request Form

Contact us

If you would like to contact the Council in relation to its licensing responsibilities, you can do so in the following ways:

Write to:  

Licensing Service
Democratic & Registration Services
3rd Floor, Borough Hall
Bedford
MK42 9AP

Email: licensing@bedford.gov.uk