Sykes attacks licensing reform

By Graham Ridout

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Licensing reform Executive officer Chief executive officer

Sykes: proud of ALMR's work
Sykes: proud of ALMR's work
Tim Sykes has made a strong attack on proposed Licensing Reform during his outgoing speech as chairman of the ALMR. Novus Leisure chief executive Steve Richards has now taken over the reigns.

Tim Sykes has made a strong attack on proposed Licensing Reform during his outgoing speech as chairman of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

Sykes, chairman of hotel-to-pub group Beds and Bars, said: "Labour reformed licensing — root and branch and then returned to it on more or less an annual basis to insert more red tape, more compliance and more cost.

"They ended up with a mandatory code, which luckily never saw the light of day. But now, we have a proposed Act of Parliament to deliver solutions where no problem exists, or where the solution to the problem lies with society and individuals themselves."

He continued: "I am particularly proud of the role that the association played at the outset of this Licensing Bill.

"Successes can be forgotten when they are for prevention rather than cure. You will recall that last summer, there were many outrageous elements to the Bill, which included the withdrawal of the right of licensing appeals to magistrates, the imposition of sanctions and conditions before appeal, and the addition of public health as being a licensing objective.

"All of these and six other unacceptable elements were quietly withdraw from the face of the Bill before it went to Parliament.

"This was a result of operator lobbying — 50 chief executives signed a letter to selected ministers and we know from civil servant feedback that the argument persuaded the change.

"This initiative was not badged 'ALMR' because it allowed the campaigning to be company-led and with universal credibility, but it most certainly brokered by us (ALMR).

"The reason why I am particularly proud of this is that it shows what can be done when we work together."

Steve Richards, chief executive of London-based bar operator Novus Leisure, has replaced Sykes as chairman.

Related topics Licensing law

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