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Lords to ask supermarkets – should the law on alcohol sales be changed?

The Lords Committee investigating the Licensing Act will next week turn its attention to off-trade, and hear from supermarkets and private members clubs.

On Tuesday 22 November representatives from Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Ocado will give evidence to the House of Lords Licensing Act 2003 Committee.

Also giving evidence, in a separate session, will be representatives from the Working Men's Club and Institute Union, the Association of London Clubs and Emms Gilmore Liberson Solicitors.

Giving evidence at 10.30am will be Mr Nick Grant, Head of Legal Services, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, Mr James Brodhurst-Brown, Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Trading Law, Waitrose, and Mr Mark Bentley, Customer Operations Director, Ocado.

The Committee will ask questions such as:

  • Have we become a home-drinking nation?
  • How can we address pre-loading?
  • Is street drinking fuelled by the sale of cheap super-strength alcohol?
  • Should we introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol?
  • How do you monitor the age of customers ordering alcohol online?

Then at 11:30am the Committee will hear from Mr Peter Adkins, Director of Regulatory Services, Emms Gilmore Liberson Solicitors, Mr Paul Varney, Association of London Clubs and George Dawson, Union President of the Working Men's Club and Institute Union.

Questions they could face include:

  • Is the licensing system working for you?
  • How well do Temporary Events Notices work?
  • Is the system flexible enough for clubs?

The evidence sessions will start at 10.30am next Tuesday 22 November in Committee Room 3A.

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