Camden Council leader tells PM act is 'wrong'

Related tags Minister tony blair United kingdom Prime minister Westminster system Prime minister tony blair

A council chief has told Prime Minister Tony Blair that the new Licensing Act is "wrong".Camden Council leader Jane Roberts attended a private...

A council chief has told Prime Minister Tony Blair that the new Licensing Act is "wrong".

Camden Council leader Jane Roberts attended a private meeting with the PM (pictured)​ this week and reportedly claimed the new regime is unfair to residents.

She said it will result in Camden Town being swamped with late-night operations. Cllr Roberts told a local newspaper: "I am not opposed to the flexibility the new act will allow but the balance has to be right and I told the Prime Minister that I think the balance is wrong in Camden Town."

Under the new act local authorities will have to consider each case on its merit. They cannot refuse a licence based on the fact that an area is already saturated with venues. But the fear for the trade is that local authorities of major entertainment areas, such as Camden and Westminster, are not prepared for the implementation of the new regime.

It seems they strongly believe they will be faced with large numbers of pubs opening 24-hours and a raft of violent drink-related behaviour.

However the majority of licensees have no plans to open for 24 hours, according to a new report.

A survey conducted by Westminster Licensees' Association (WLA) has revealed that less than a third of licensees in Westminster are planning to change their trading hours following the implementation of the Licensing Act.

Just over three quarters of those are seeking extra trading on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights while only 10 per cent are seeking to substantially increase their hours.

This is in line with The Publican Market Report 2003 which revealed that only one per cent of licensees would want to open for 24 hours. The majority - 36 per cent - said they would like to close at midnight on a Friday and Saturday.

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