Related tags Licensing reform Alcoholism Beer Drinking culture Britain

Licensing shake-up will not curb binge drinkers There is no doubt that Britain has a serious drink problem. There is also no doubt the existing...

Licensing shake-up will not curb binge drinkers

There is no doubt that Britain has a serious drink problem. There is also no doubt the existing licensing regime has completely failed to curb the culture of excessive and binge drinking.

At the moment:

1) People can buy cheap drink in off-licences, supermarkets, and garage forecourts from 8am. Licensing reform won't change this.

2) These prices may be one third or half those paid for drinks in pubs. Licensing reform won't alter this.

3) The judge who recently said the only way to curb Britain's drink problem was to raise the price of drink in pubs was talking out of his learned backside.

4) People are mixing drink with drugs. Licensing reform won't alter this.

5) Alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder have grown rapidly in recent times, long before licensing reform was on the agenda. Licensing reform won't alter this.

6) Alcohol consumption by 11 to 15-year-olds has almost doubled since 1990. This alcohol is rarely if ever supplied by pubs. Licensing reform has no relevance to this.

7) There is a burning desire by so many young people to get blind drunk. Licensing reform won't alter this.

8) 11pm becomes the 'fight 'n' puke rush hour' as drinkers are all disgorged simultaneously at closing time after a very brief 'drinking up' period. Licensing reform will reduce this problem by staggering the exit time, as they do on the Continent.

9) People can already continue drinking by moving to a late-licence nightclub. Licensing reform won't alter this.

10) There are already police powers to arrest and prosecute people who are drunk and disorderly. Licensing reform will strengthen this.

11) There are already police powers to close nuisance pubs. Licensing reform will strengthen this.


1) Alcohol suppliers should act in a responsible way or be punished.

2) The public who drink alcohol must take responsibility for their actions or be punished.

3) It is a cop-out to blame the pub industry for Britain's drink problem.

4) The authorities run ineffectual public health campaigns and turn a blind eye to the antics of drunken yobs on the streets because they can't be bothered to take them to the police station. Cautions and convictions for drunkenness have actually dropped from 124,380 in 1980 to 43,356 in 2001, even as binge drinking has soared.

As so often, it's not new laws we need, but to have the old ones enforced.

Colin Richardson

The Richardsons Group

1 Earl Street



The benefits of beer monitoring equipment

I was pleased to see the subject of beer monitoring being given such a high-profile airing in your editorial column of 20 October.

However, as a company director of the sector's market leader, it would be remiss of me if I didn't add one or two points to add further balance to the piece.

I accept that beer monitoring is one of those trade issues which prompts strong reaction from both sides of the debate.

We at Brulines recognise this and that's one of the reasons we have a greater number of field staff to deal personally with queries and issues arising directly from licensees as well as pub company employees.

It does need to be said, however, that beer monitoring has moved on significantly since its first appearance in the trade more than 10 years ago.

Increasingly, pub companies and independent licensees are using the data we provide to monitor quality of beer as well as the success (or otherwise) of pub promotions. Indeed, it's becoming such a useful tool in this particular area that we are now discussing the benefits directly with brand owners as well as retailers.

We have also developed technology that is now in use in selected outlets to not only analyse dispensed volume but assess the quality of product through temperature measurement, flow rate, and line-cleaning effectiveness - all aimed at improving the quality of draught beer to the customer.

New technology has given us the means to bring about these developments which, in turn, is providing new solutions for the trade. I'm pleased to say that this evolution is being embraced by the industry and is a clear demonstration that monitoring has come a long way in a relatively short time.

One final but important point - all data provided by Brulines is made available to individual licensees!

Alison Martinez

Customer Development Director


EDIS House

Wellington Court

Preston Farm Business Park


TS18 3TA

Enlightenment please on doorstaff registration fee

I have recently sent a member of staff on a doorman's course at our local college.

This was quite expensive, but he did the course, passed and received his certificate. Then on a visit by the police, checking who had registered doormen, we found we were not covered and could have been fined.

We were informed that until a further £200 was paid and a form completed, the doorman would not be registered or receive his card.

I should also point out that attending this course, passing it, and paying out the £200 is no guarantee of being registered, or getting the £200 refunded.

I have been in this trade for more than 20 years and read a lot of the trade literature and I have not seen anything referring to the £200.

I have spoken to licensees and doormen and they have said they knew nothing of this registration fee until after the


Can anyone please enlighten me?

John Luxford

George Inn

157 Chepstow Road



South Wales

NP19 8GE

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