from James Millar, director, The Food Ferry Co

Sir; Having just completed the forms for renewing our alcohol licence, I am bound to say it is one of the most confusing, irritating and time-consuming exercises I have been involved with as a businessman in the past 15 years.
Sadly, however, this is not the point. No matter how badly written, irrelevant, inconsistent and complicated the boxes on the various forms are - and some of the questions are plain daft - they simply must be completed by all current licence-holders and sent in within the next three weeks.
If not, there is a real danger that shops, pubs, clubs, cafés, bars and other places of entertainment will lose their automatic rights to a licence and, at considerably more expense and time to themselves, have to reapply for a licence. This, of course, could be refused.
With one month to go before the deadline of August 6, only around 20% of new licences have been applied for across the UK. We need 100%.
May I recommend to all readers who currently sell alcohol to attend to this matter with urgency. Call your local authority to get them to help you with the answers to any problem questions. It’s their paperwork after all - but it’s your job to make sure you fill it in and send it off in time. Once this exercise is done, the system will become much easier.