Licensing overhaul slammed as 'anti-business'

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Licensing authorities License

Government plans to overhaul the licensing regime are "anti-business" and "illiberal" a pub training company chief has argued. The window for...

Government plans to overhaul the licensing regime are "anti-business" and "illiberal" a pub training company chief has argued.

The window for responses to the coalition's licensing consultation closes this week - and Paul Chase, director and head of UK compliance at CPL, has launched a stinging attack on the changes.

He said the reforms were a "baleful attack on the licensed trade" designed to "appease the bigotry of a resurgent temperance movement".

He suggest the plans - which include giving health bodies more of a say on licensing decisions - are designed to give the government a "quick win", and not solve real problems.

On the issue of giving more power to licensing authorities, Chase said: "One major consequence of enabling licensing authorities to be judge and jury in respect of their own representations is that impartiality goes and licence-holders will lose confidence in the system."

BII chief executive Neil Robertson agreed this could be a problem. "This would make licensing authorities judge, jury and subsequently probation officer, which is just wrong," he said.

Meanwhile, multiple-operator Tony Brookes, in his response to the consultation, has argued that councils already have enough powers to review and revoke licences.

On another plan to make licensees responsible for public health, Brookes said this would be "illogical".

The consultation also contains plans to a late-night levy for pubs and clubs. But licensing lawyers Poppleston Allen said an upper limit should be placed on the amount councils can charge.

Still a chance to have your say

The deadline for responses to the licensing consultation is this Wednesday (September 8), so there is still time for licensees to submit a response. For more information visit:

Related topics Licensing law

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