Brown to review Licensing Act

24 September 2007 by
Brown to review Licensing Act

The Government is to carry out a review into the impact of the Licensing Act 2003.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth, Gordon Brown, the prime minister outlined plans to crack down on binge-drinking and under-age drinking and said that if the review called for a reversal of policy, "we will do it".

Brown said: "We will review all the evidence, look at what's happening, and if a change needs to be made I will not hesitate to make the change in the interests of the country. Where there are things that are wrong and where mistakes have been made, we will look at those things and we will change those things."

The Licensing Act came into force in England and Wales in November 2005 and many licence holders are still getting to grips with the nuances of the law - which, as well as extending licensing hours, also requires a designated premises supervisor for each property that sells alcohol.

Brown has also raised the ire of the hospitality industry by effectively reversing the decision to build a supercasino in Manchester - a project that would have seen the creation of 3,000 hospitality jobs in the area.

"I will not hesitate to change policy if I think it is the right thing to do," the prime minister told conference delegates. "The important thing is to send teenagers a message. The thing I am most concerned about is binge-drinking among teenagers."

At the end of last week Rob Hayward, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, wrote an open letter to all London MPs, detailing figures that showed a double-digit reduction in alcohol-related crime in the boroughs of Westminster and Camden since the start of the new Licensing Act in November 2005.

New drinking laws cut alcohol fuelled violence>>

New Licensing Act is bringing benefits, say councils>>

Pubs fear fallout from crackdown on underage drinkers>>

Supermarkets undermining pubs' responsible drinking efforts>>

Licensing round-up>>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton]( Brown to review Licensing Act) here.

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