Trade pleas for more time on licensing

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Late night levy, License

Home Office: criticised over consultation length
Home Office: criticised over consultation length
A senior trade figure has made a final plea to the Government to extend the consultation period for its proposed licensing overhaul.

A senior trade figure has made a final plea to the Government to extend the consultation period for its proposed licensing overhaul​.

Joe O'Riordan, secretary of the local licensed victuallers 1066 LVA, has written to the Home Office asking for more time than the truncated six-week period to have a say on plans to add health as a licensing objective, introduce a late night levy and give more power to councils and residents.

His call follows that of All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group chairman Alan Meale who also recently asked for more time.

At the recent roadshow in London, O'Riordan questioned officials over why the Government had broken its own guidelines on consultation — which state it should be at least 12 weeks.

"It is ridiculously short and goes against the Government's own guidelines on consultation, which they say should be a minimum of 12 weeks and if a complicated matter then thought should be given to extending that time," he said.

"Additional legislation as proposed is a very serious matter to the licensed trade and six weeks is simply not adequate time for proper discussion to take place."

O'Riordan also voiced concern over the low pub licensee attendance at the roadshows. "To my surprise when I attended, there were only two licensed trade personnel in the room as against thirty three non-trade individuals — hardly likely to ensure the Home Office obtains the views of the trade on their proposals.

"I also feel that a two hour time limit on the Road Shows is far too short, I personally feel I should like to attend another simply to ensure the views of the trade are made known to the Home Office."

Nigel Jones, owner of the Railway Hotel in Blandford Forum, attended the Cardiff consultation. He said the late night levy seems to be a done deal.

"No consultation on the late night levy itself — it is definitely being introduced," he said.

"There has to be a grave danger that this will be seen as another revenue opportunity by local authorities."

He urged licensees to have their say by 8 September. "It is absolutely vital that as many people in the trade as possible respond online to the consultation before the 8 September deadline."

Have your say on the plans here

Related topics: Licensing law

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