ADZs axed after licensing consultation

01 December, 2010

The Home Office has published its response to the consultation on rebalancing the Licensing Act launched in July, including plans to abolish alcohol disorder zones and a commitment to review the mandatory code after 12 months to assess its impact on bus

inesses.

The code introduced a requirement for off-licence premises to have a policy on under-age sales as well as imposing restrictions on on-trade promotions.

The Home Office has also published its Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill which includes measures to “rebalance the Licensing Act”.

As expected, the Bill includes measures to give communities and local authorities greater control over alcohol licensing to tackle problem premises.

They will have new powers to restrict premises from selling alcohol late at night if necessary and clamp down harder on premises persistently selling to children, with the maximum fine doubling to £20,000.

Health and policing concerns will be given greater weight in licensing decisions.

A late night levy will be charged on premises to pay for extra policing.

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: "We welcome the Government's positive response to some of the concerns we've expressed during consultation about proposed changes to the licensing regime.

"We remain concerned about the implications of the proposed late night levy, not least the possibility that it may be seen by some local authorities as a way of simply raising revenue. It is vital that it is applied only to premises where there is clear evidence of a problem and does not impact responsible businesses which happen to be in the vicinity.

"We hope government will encourage police and local authorities to adopt a common sense and partnership approach when using their substantial powers to tackle problem drinking and licensing issues."




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