Action plan for tackling EMROs

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Licensing authority Proposal Proposals

EMROs restrict alcohol sales for a specified period between midnight and 6.00am
EMROs restrict alcohol sales for a specified period between midnight and 6.00am
You have heard from a reliable source that your licensing authority may shortly be consulting on whether or not to introduce an early-morning restriction order (EMRO). What should you do? Our action plan lays out suggested steps.

Establish whether these rumours are true and, if so, where has the suggestion come from?
There is normally some merit behind the suggestions, but some licensing authorities have shown little appetite for a proposal that normally originates from the police.

What is the proposal that’s being suggested?
Establish what the proposed EMRO would look like. What area would it apply to, what days of the week and what time between midnight and 6am would it start, after which alcohol cannot be sold?

What process is your licensing authority proposing to take?
Some licensing authorities undertake an informal consultation by questionnaire, others hold public meetings to discuss the proposal and decide the next step to be taken.

Meet with the authority suggesting the EMRO
Normally this will be the local police, but it is possible for the licensing authority itself to suggest the introduction of an EMRO. Propose a meeting to discuss the suggestion and understand the rationale behind it.

Co-ordinate other premises licence holders
It is important to discuss the proposal with other premises licence holders in the area affected. Some premises licence holders may feel that the EMRO will not affect them directly, but they may not have considered the wider implications for the town or city.
Speak to the trade bodies that represent premises licence holders
A number of the associations representing the licensed trade are supporting their members in opposing the introduction of EMROs. If you are a tenant, involve your landlord who is very possibly a member of such trade associations.

Discuss the matter with your local pubwatch
Locally, premises licence holders will need a voice — this is commonly the local pubwatch’s arena. Representatives of the pubwatch should consider what other avenues are open to the trade to address the concerns being raised by the police and/or licensing authorities, such as the introduction of voluntary schemes, for example Best Bar None.

Establish the timescales that are involved
When is the licensing authority considering holding informal discussions? If these have already started, when is the licensing authority likely to start the formal consultation exercise? There are strict timescales concerning the introduction of an EMRO, and the consultation exercise has to last for at least 42 days, during which representations can be made.

Ensure you make your representation in time and in the prescribed manner
Not only do you have to ensure that you make your representation regarding the EMRO within the 42 days, but you have to use the ‘prescribed form’. Often, consultations are on councils’ websites, so do not expect to be sent the hard copy of it. You will have to do the work yourself to find the consultation and respond.
And, finally, don’t forget that apathy is not the answer. Do not assume that somebody else will be making a representation on the EMRO. If you have something to say, do so before it is too late.

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