Select Committee seeks your views on Licensing Act 2003

As part of its investigation into the Licensing Act 2003, the Select Committee is calling all those who are affected to give their views of the Act by 2nd September 2016.

When the Licensing Act 2003 came into force in 2005, the old rules about permitted hours were abolished and this enabled premises to apply to sell alcohol between such times as they wished, potentially 24/7. The Government at the time asserted it was to give:

‘...greater freedom and flexibility for the hospitality and leisure industry’ and ‘greater freedom of choice’ for customers, balanced by ‘tougher powers for the police, the courts and the licensing authority’ to deal with the misuse of these freedoms.

The Licensing Act 2003 Committee’s investigation is the first full review of the Act since it was enacted.

Government officials, civil servants, think tanks and public sector associations have already started sharing their evidence on the Act.

Now the Committee is inviting everyone who's affected by the Act to give evidence.

The Committee’s Chairman, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, said:

"While many heralded the Act as the start of a more continental drinking culture, others predicted round-the-clock consumption, leading to disorder and a deterioration in public health.

"But what has the reality actually been like? Has deregulation allowed the drinks industry to thrive? Have drinkers embraced a more relaxed and healthier approach to alcohol? What happened to the anticipated café culture?

"For good or ill, the Licensing Act has altered the drinking landscape of England and Wales, but an examination of the changes is long overdue.

“I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to send us written evidence before our deadline of 2nd September."

The Committee will publish its report by 23rd March 2017. Areas it will look into include:

  • The balance between rights and responsibilities of both the industry and the public
  • The powers of enforcement authorities, including the police
  • The impact that any greater availability of alcohol has had on the health of the population
  • Whether the Act has made it easier or harder for communities to enjoy activities that have to be licensed under the Act
  • The role of licensing in shaping local areas, for the benefit of the economy and the local community
  • Minimum unit pricing and its potential impact
  • Fees and costs associated with the Act

How to give your views on the Act

Click here to submit evidence to the Licensing Act 2003 Committee.

The deadline for entries is 2nd September 2016.

Source: parliament.uk

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