BBPA: Off-trade must pay in ADZs

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcohol disorder zone Money Supermarket Retailing Rob hayward

BBPA: Off-trade must pay in ADZs
ADZs must be scrapped or at least a level playing field on charges introduced

The off-trade must be forced to stump up as much cash as pubs and bars if an alcohol disorder zone (ADZ) is established.

That's the view of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Rob Hayward who has written to MPs today outlining his concern that supermarkets and shops will escape payments under the scheme.

Hayward stressed that the BBPA remains strongly opposed to the very notion of ADZs and would prefer the whole concept to be ditched.

But he said if the Government was insistent on establishing ADZs there must be a "level playing field for all those involved in the retail of alcohol"​.

ADZs will allow councils and police to force licensed premises in a designated area to pay a levy.

An ADZ can be implemented if venues fail to introduce changes, set out in an action plan, eight weeks after the plan's publication.

The updated ADZ regulations were made public this week and Hayward is concerned that the off-trade will escape any charges.

Off-trade responsibility

"All retailers of alcohol have to accept their share of responsibility for problems that arise from excessive consumption,"​ he said.

"However, supermarkets, town supermarket convenience stores and licensed shops will escape from having to make any financial contribution to an Alcohol Disorder Zone, should one be established in their area.

"The legislation introduced by the Government excludes these stores from having to make any payment towards Alcohol Disorder Zones.

"This is neither logical nor equitable. These businesses benefit from selling alcohol to people. They should therefore be included within such legislative measures and clearly obliged to contribute on the same basis as other businesses that sell alcohol."

Hayward believes the more democratic option of Business Improvement Districts - of which there are 60 in operation - would be more beneficial.

Coulson: Regulations unclear

The regulations say exemptions will be granted for venues where "the availability of alcohol is not the main reason, or one of the main reasons, why individuals enter or remain on those premises"​.

However, MA legal editor Peter Coulson said: "My view is off-licences and supermarkets don't avoid the charge because one of their principle actions is selling alcohol."

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