Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe has written to local authorities to urge them to make more use of the enforcement powers available under the Licensing Act 2003, it has emerged.
Law firm Maitland Walker has obtained a copy of the letter, which does not appear to have been sent to trade bodies and is not available on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.
In the letter, Sutcliffe reminds enforcement authorities they should take a "proactive approach" to identify and seek reviews of problem premises and encourages licensing authorities to consider where tougher conditions might be appropriate following a licence review.
Sutcliffe has previously talked about allowing local authorities to issue "yellow cards" and "red cards" to problem premises.
In June, he said: "Most licensees take their responsibilities seriously, but we need to be sure that those who don't are quickly dealt with. There is a range of powers available that are being used effectively in many areas, but there is not a consistent picture across the country."
The letter was publicised days after it emerged that Sutcliffe is scheduled to meet pub industry representatives to discuss the impact of pub closures.
By Daniel Thomas
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