Welsh drinking referendums scrapped

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New licensing act, Local government, Voting, Wales

Rules that allowed the sale of alcohol on a Sunday in Wales to be banned have been scrapped, the government has announced.The move is the first major...

Rules that allowed the sale of alcohol on a Sunday in Wales to be banned have been scrapped, the government has announced.

The move is the first major change to alcohol licensing under the new Licensing Act, which became law earlier this month.

Under the old rules, if at least 500 registered voters in any Welsh county or borough requested it, the local authority had to hold ballots in which people voted whether or not alcohol should be sold there on a Sunday.

Wales office minister Don Touhig said: "This change is long overdue. It is clear that the vast majority of people in Wales are in favour of Sunday opening and it is right that the law has been bought up to date."

The polls were last held in 1996, when every area in Wales voted for alcohol to be sold on a Sunday.

A spokesperson from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: "The move will lead to big savings in public expenditure. The cost of running the seven yearly polls to local authorities was between £300,000 and £650,000 each time.

"It will also help pubs by removing the uncertainty they operated under. By giving them the assurance that the sale of alcohol on a Sunday will remain legal for the foreseeable future, the licensing trade believe it will help long term planning, increase investment and create more jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries."

Licensing minister Richard Caborn said: "This rule dates back to Victorian times. While the whole of Wales now has Sunday opening, the rule allowing polls on closing still lingers on.

"It doesn't reflect the way people live their lives today. If people in Wales want to buy a bottle of wine from a supermarket on a Sunday, or enjoy a pint with their Sunday lunch in a pub, they should be able to do so. "

Related topics: Legislation

Property of the week

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more