British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Rob Hayward met with officials from the Department of Health yesterday to state the need for smoke ban regulations to be given to the trade as soon as possible.
Hayward said there are some parts of the regulations which could be copied from Scotland and given to the trade now so licensees, pubcos and local authorities can begin to prepare.
He told morningadvertiser.co.uk: "The regulations are pretty close to being ready and we are saying get them out as quick as possible. Give us the draft as quick as you can - even if it is in bits.
"The Department of Health undersatnd our position but they've got to talk to local government, the health lobby and other government departments."
"Our view is, and in my opinion it is a view shared by other trade bodies, there are large parts of the regulations which will be the same as in Scotland and which should be given to us as soon as possible. That has to be in the best interests of everbody."
Hayward said the wrangling in the Lords, over issues such as whether actors can smoke on stage, will not affect the trade so there is no need to wait for all the issues to be resolved before letting the trade have the vast majority of the regulations.
Your CommentsRobert Feal-Martinez via email 24/05/2006"Hear we go again, the BBPA want, so everyone wants. Do they not understand that the Lords are trying to get important matters on the face of the Bill, so the industry can't be shafted again. If the BBPA and other trade organisations had taken the time Freedom to Choose have and had sent someone to listen to what was actually happening perhaps they wouldn't have been so keen to surrender to the Government. How dare they yet again give the impression they speak for licensees they do not, any more than they did over licensing, where we on the front line got 'shafted'. If it hadn't been for a growing number of vocal Peers, no one would have known about the open ended regulation giving Government the power to change age ranges to suit themselves. As this was a general regulation it applies to all of the health bill. All is not lost as the BBPA etal blieve, there still is a major push for ventilation/filtration seperation. Lord Monson is preparing to challenge the 'so called evidence' . He has requested information from Lord Warner of very specific issues, on which the Governments contentions about Ventilatio/Filtration were based. He has received a reply from Lord Warner that there is no such detailed information. I cannot go into the specifics of this suffice to say that it is our view that the Government as lied to both Houses and to the public. Perhaps with all their resources the BBPA could have been slightly more favourably proactive towards front line licensees rather than leave it to Freedom to Choose to fight for our rights. Join the bigdebate's Petition it is far from being a done deal, the Lords will not let these lies and deceit be swept under the carpet.
Alan Thompson via email 24/05/2006"I think we need to see these as soon as possible. Think back to when the government released the licensing act application forms at the 11th hour, I really don't want to go through that again."
Donal McCarthy, via email 26/05/2006The BBPA sweeps aside the views of those it represents, ignores the views of the greater public, denies any knowledge of customers'views [denies customers full-stop], pooh-poohs parliamentary process and now wants the the government to release the details of something that does not exist.
Heads should roll.