The Westminster Licensing Charter

The Westminster Licensing Charter is the council’s strategy to encourage good licensing practice across the City.

The Charter protects those made vulnerable by alcohol with industry-led local initiatives.

One of our commitments in City For All is to support the entertainment industry in developing a voluntary Westminster Standard.

We want to promote responsible behaviour amongst licensees, and set the standard of care for patrons and neighbours.


1. Charter aims and principles


  • more premises able to support those made vulnerable by alcohol
  • reductions in associated anti-social behaviour, crime and emergency health issues
  • growth of the evening and night time economy
  • improved working relationship between council, police and industry


  • the initiative must be industry-led and voluntary, and change how premises operate
  • information for those visiting licensed premises in Westminster on the risks of alcohol and drugs 
  • support for vulnerable individuals as a result of alcohol, drugs or other issues
  • operators have a responsibility to look after those made vulnerable by alcohol both inside and outside their premises, and should be recognised for doing so
  • premises should not fear someone who is drunk on the premises (and enforcement agencies should help) 

2. The Charter

One example of businesses committing to the Licensing Charter is the Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA).

HOLBA have been working closely with the council, police and Best Bar None to launch the first Best Bar None scheme in Westminster. 

They are the first industry-led group to take up the Westminster Licensing Charter.

Premises within the scheme will be encouraged to have a policy on how to deal with those made vulnerable by alcohol.

Ways you can help:

  • free bottled water or hot drinks to people vulnerable by alcohol
  • safe and secure phone charging for patrons 
  • help to find friends or safe transport home
  • staff trained to call other services for support, for example street pastors or the emergency services
  • setting up a safe space or a support and information hub
  • information for customers on how to get home safely

3. Find out more

If you are in the Piccadilly and Leicester Square area, contact HOLBA for more information about engaging in Licensing Charter and Best Bar None.

If you are interested in joining the Licensing Charter or want to find out more, email

Last updated: 2 November 2017
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