BBPA urges Gov't to extend Primary Authority law to licence conditions

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Government, Local government

Brigid Simmonds: 'Overzealous enforcement for pubs adds to costs'
Brigid Simmonds: 'Overzealous enforcement for pubs adds to costs'
The British Beer & Pub Association has urged the Government to look at extending new Primary Authority legislation to licence conditions, to ensure there is consistent enforcement across different local authorities.

The legislation gives businesses the right to form a statutory partnership with a single local authority, which then provides advice to other councils when carrying out inspections or dealing with non-compliance.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said it has great potential to reduce cost and complexity for pub operators when it comes to both underage sales and fire safety.

She called for the Government to look at extending Primary Authority to licensing conditions during a round-table on the ‘Focus on Enforcement’ review programme at the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills yesterday.

The meeting was attended by Secretary of State Vince Cable and Business & Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock.

'Overzealous enforcement adds costs'

Simmonds said: “The success of the pubs review has been to encourage local authorities to consider a risk based approach to enforcement for pubs. New guidance on the use of CCTV has also helped to encourage a proper assessment about whether it is really necessary.

“Overzealous enforcement for pubs adds to costs.  We will continue to urge partnerships as the most effective way forward, and encourage the Government to look at extending Primary Authority to licensing conditions.

“Pubs are hugely important to local communities and over 80% of pubs are small businesses. I welcome the ongoing support from DBIS to help ensure that regulation for pubs is proportionate and light-touch.”

Shepherd Neame partnership

This week Shepherd Neame announced that it is working with Kent Fire and Rescue Service through a Primary Authority Scheme partnership, meaning it can now take a single approach to developing the fire safety plans and procedures for all its premises.

It said will continue to work with the fire and rescue services local to each of its premises across the South East for routine safety visits, but final questions about the suitability of fire safety arrangements will be subject to discussion and moderation with Kent. 

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Posted by Objective Observer,

I agree with Mr Ellis. However even if the standard was based on a wider mix. I suspect is would be everything that was bad for Publicans, rather than balance.

This of course could be partially mitigated by Government setting an absolute fee. Removing the threat of increasing cost.

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Gold standards or what

Posted by Jim,

My experience of primary authority is that there is an inconsistancy in approach with them playing big brother and being at the beck and call of the big operators
Leave it as it

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Coming back to bite us?

Posted by John Ellis,

While it might seem to be a sensible idea to have one local council setting the standards across the country, to which all local authorities would then comply, this could come back to bite us all on the bum! Who decides which L.A. would be the one? For example, I have no direct experience of Westminster Council but reading many articles about them in the P.M.A., I am worried that such an anti-pub Council could be the one setting the standards for all L.A.'s to follow!

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