Greater stability in the licensing system has been called for in a submission from the British Beer & Pub Association, to a House of Lords Select Committee inquiry on the Licensing Act 2003. Peers will begin taking evidence later this month, with BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds scheduled to appear on 18th October.
Keys proposals from the BBPA are:
- A moratorium on further legislative change during the current Parliament
The BBPA evidence highlights the scale and number of changes to the Act since its introduction, and calls for a period of greater stability.
- Improved enforcement
The BBPA wants to see less burdensome provisions that would benefit business, as well as licensing authorities, around areas such as advertising requirements and flexibility on payment dates for licensing fees, along with more targeted enforcement.
- Greater support for partnership working
Partnership working between all parties in the licensing regime, via schemes such as Pubwatch, is the most effective way of dealing with issues and promoting good practice.
The BBPA’s full submission will be published by the Select Committee in due course.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“Pubs sustain over 800,000 jobs, and the sector is constantly adapting to changing consumer tastes, and playing a vital role in local communities and in the high street. Yet the sector is very heavily regulated, adding greatly to the cost of doing business. The Act has been very far from the free-for-all, 24-hour drinking that we often read about. In reality we have seen a declining number of pubs, and a greater need that ever to tackle the high cost of tax and regulation, to keep pubs thriving. We now need a period of stability in the licensing regime, and a focus on reducing the cost and burden of enforcement.”