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13:35 PM, 23rd November 2019
About A year ago

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As I cannot in my old age find where to comment on articles , can you direct the following into the correct folder?
My comment relates to the article in your 23/11/19 edition
‘Nottingham Licensing increased to whopping £890.’

Further to Mike Roberts Article commenting on Nottingham City’s plan to increase the licence fee to a whopping £890 per property, I attended the council meeting at the City’s council offices, Loxley House, Nottingham on the 21st November when the increase was announced.
Guess What!!!!!!!!!
To my great surprise I was the only Nottingham landlord to attend the meeting of the 18,000 odd landlords in Nottingham who had applied for a licence and paid for the pleasure. I did not see anyone from EMPO or Mike Roberts who had indicated in his earlier comments regarding this meeting that he would attend.
As the meeting moved onto matters unrelated to the planned licence increases a friend of mine also turned up but he had missed Councillor Linda Wooding's announcement of the Licence fee increases. No comment or questions were allowed at the end of her announcement, but we were invited to rejoin the meeting after the end of all their deliberations.
However, as the two of us left the room a Mr David Hobbs introduced himself and informed us that he was the Operational Manager of the City’s Selective Licensing scheme.
This opened the flood doors.
I first asked him why all the 18,000 odd Nottingham landlords who had been granted and paid for a licence had not been notified of the meeting, given I had only found out the day before by chance via a text from the guy with me.

What had happened to democracy?

Were we now living in a communist state, where all decisions were made in total secret? He made no comment!
On we went!
Why have only 3% of licences been issued when they have a staff of 75 in the Licensing Department?
How could they justify the increases when they had only taken fees from 17,523 landlords up to August 2019 out of the 32,000 landlords they had identified in the City?
Why were the good guys going to have to pay more when they had only managed to inspected less than 300 properties to date? Surely if they had more landlords on their books the fees should be coming down.
Why had i not received an official signed Licence to date, despite having applied for 7 licences in July 2018.?
Why did I have to complete seven separate applications when all my properties are in one building? Seven separate payments, seven copies of my passport etc etc. My friend who is in the process of building 100 apartments in Nottingham City will also have to have a licence for every apartment in the block and be charged accordingly.
No meaningful answers were forthcoming, other than a promise that our concerns would be investigated and that they would take a serious look at the issues we have raised.
The only redeeming feature of this meeting was that the two of us were invited back into the committee room to put our comments also to Linda Wooding and other senior members of the council including the city council leader David Mellon.

What a pity the meeting was not attended by the 17,523 approved Nottingham landlords. If they had attended then maybe it would have led to a change of heart from the City Labour council.... Read More