LORDS

Lords Committee on Licensing Act 2003 seeks your views

30 June 2016

The Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 has published its call for evidence and invites all interested parties to submit evidence to the Committee by 2 September 2016.

The Licensing Act 2003 set out to provide greater freedom to the hospitality and leisure industry, as well as giving consumers more choice. At the same time the legislation was intended to grant authorities the appropriate powers to deal with misuse of these freedoms. The House of Lords Licensing Act 2003 Committee is now investigating the effectiveness of the Act and would like to hear from all those affected by it. It will publish its report early in 2017.

Comment of Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, Chairman

"The Licensing Act 2003 enabled premises to serve alcohol for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While many heralded the Act as the start of a more continental drinking culture, others predicted round-the-clock consumption, leading to disorder and a deterioration in public health.

"But what has the reality actually been like? Has deregulation allowed the drinks industry to thrive? Have drinkers embraced a more relaxed and healthier approach to alcohol? What happened to the anticipated café culture?

"For good or ill, the Licensing Act has altered the drinking landscape of England and Wales, but an examination of the changes is long overdue. I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to send us written evidence before our deadline of 2 September."

Areas of interest

Areas that the Committee will look at include:

  • the balance between rights and responsibilities of both the industry and the public;
  • the powers of enforcement authorities, including the police;
  • the impact that any greater availability of alcohol has had on the health of the population;
  • whether the Act has made it easier or harder for communities to enjoy activities that have to be licensed under the Act;
  • the role of licensing in shaping local areas, for the benefit of the economy and the local community;
  • minimum unit pricing and its potential impact; and
  • fees and costs associated with the Act.

Written evidence must be received by 2 September 2016. The Committee has to report by 23 March 2017.

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Further information

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