'Disappointing' turn-out for mandatory code show

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

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Le Clercq: disappointing turnout for trade
Le Clercq: disappointing turnout for trade
A trade chief says it's "very disappointing" not a single licensee attended the first two regional roadshows on Government plans on new red tape.

A trade chief says it's "very disappointing" not a single licensee attended the first two regional roadshows on Government plans to force new red tape on pubs.

The first two events on the mandatory alcohol retailing code, which took place in Newcastle and Hull this week, saw police and council chiefs say the code isn't needed.

The Home Office organised the 10 events to get feedback from the trade, as well as police, council officials and others.

British Beer and Pub Association northern secretary Lee Le Clercq, who attended the first two events, said 68 people attended at Newcastle and 30 were at Hull — 100 places were available at each.

He was joined in Newcastle by Punch's head of compliance David Daniel and was the sole representative from the pub trade in Hull.

The planned code will see pubs forced to abide by a set of mandatory conditions, including curbs on drinks promotions and proving smaller drinks servings. Councils can impose harsher conditions locally in hotspots.

Le Clercq said: "The complete absence of licensees both in Newcastle and Hull is very disappointing. This is an issue that could become a serious burden for them in terms of red tape and costs."

He described the tone from Hull as "scary", with the official from the Regional Government Office stressing the damage caused by alcohol.

"It's just a shame that the subject of the consultation — alcohol retailers — didn't get to put their side across."

Le Clercq added: "The feeling I get from most of the people there — licensing officers, trading standards and police — was, 'why do we need this? We can tackle these premises now under powers in the Licensing Act'."

He said there were no supermarkets represented in Hull and just Waitrose in Newcastle.

Next events will be in Hull (9 July), Liverpool (14 July), Nottingham (16 July), Birmingham (21 July), Cambridge (23 July), Ports-mouth (28 July), Cardiff (20 July), Weymouth (4 August) and London (6 August).

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