The Government is to give councils the power to impose a blanket ban on 24-hour licences in problem areas.
The move was first announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in September last year, and was confirmed yesterday by licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe.
The new powers, which will be brought in through the Crime and Security Bill, mean that if public disorder or nuisance was attributed to individual premises, councils will be able to limit late opening across the entire local area.
The ban would apply to all premises selling alcohol between 3am and 6am, including pubs, bars, clubs, supermarkets and convenience stores.
Sutcliffe said: "The Licensing Act has done a great deal to make it easier for local residents and councils to deal with alcohol-related nuisance and disorder, and the number of 24 hour licences remains low. But we recognise that some concerns still exist about anti social behaviour, and are determined to give councils the powers they need to act.
"This new power will help local authorities and the police make life better for local residents. It will also help ensure that licensees take their obligation to run responsible businesses more seriously."
E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next pub job here with Caterersearch.com jobs