Responding to the new House of Lords select committee follow up report on the Licensing Act 2003: Post-Legislative Scrutiny, UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said:
“This is critical time for the sector, as it strives to rebuild after the pandemic under the most challenging conditions. Therefore this review by the Lords Liaison Committee of their 2017 report, is most timely, and we are grateful for having had the opportunity to give evidence to the committee earlier this year.
“The new report recognises that while things are improving in licensing and signs of more co-ordination and partnerships are emerging, some areas of inconsistency remain. We agree with the committee that licensing and planning co-ordination must be improved, and that the Agent of Change principle remains key. We also applaud the continued call to place this within statutory licensing guidance.
“We support the recommendation that the Government should consult the industry and affected stakeholders on the efficacy of the Late Night Levy. Unless some meaningful benefits can be identified, we strongly believe that the Levy should be abolished as soon as practically possible to aid the sector’s recovery.
“It was pleasing that the report recognised the industry’s laudable initiatives around the safety of women and vulnerable people, and the highlighting of access for all as a key issue, an area which we are already progressing. We are working with stakeholders to find ways that will be most effective and practical to improve disability access, something which I am driving as part of my role as the Disability and Access Ambassador for Hospitality.”