New Licensing Act is bringing benefits, say councils

25 July 2006
New Licensing Act is bringing benefits, say councils

The new Licensing Act is beginning to benefit communities, police and local authorities, according to a new council report.

New enforcement powers and the transitional period (from 7 February to 24 November) last year, helped the authorities root out illegal traders and deal with disorderly premises, claim the councils.

The report from the 10 Scrutiny Councils, which were in charge of monitoring the shake-up in England and Wales's liquor laws last November, found residents were now more aware of their rights and licensees of their responsibilities under the act.

It also found the authorities were working together better and forging helpful relationships with licensees.

Mark Hastings, director of communications at the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "It is encouraging to see the emphasis placed on the positive impact the act is currently having on communities and the constructive partnerships being built between the trade and local authorities. It stands in stark contrast to the doom-laden predictions made prior to November last year."

Hastings said the report highlighted the common ground between the trade and councils on how the act could be simplified to bring cost and efficiency savings for both.

Recommendations in the report include changing the licensing advertising arrangements, increasing the time in which police can object to one-off events, and issuing further guidance on dealing with residents' complaints about premises.

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By Angela Frewin

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