Magazine article Public Finance

Licensing Law Criticisms 'Will Be Heard'

Magazine article Public Finance

Licensing Law Criticisms 'Will Be Heard'

Article excerpt

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said it will act on businesses' criticisms of the new local authority licensing regime - but only when the police and residents have had their say.

DCMS officials this week told Public Finance they would publish two sets of suggested new guidance on the Licensing Act 2003 before the summer parliamentary recess, after bar owners reported that the new system was hastily arranged and expensive.

The experiences of licensees were laid bare in a report by the government's Better Regulation Commission, Whitehall's legislation watchdog, published on April 10.

BRC officials reported that 'while a majority of stakeholders we consulted agreed that the idea behind the reforms was good, they thought that the implementation had been badly handled.

'The application process was inconvenient and costly for many licensees. Important information was not available when it was needed, consultation was inadequate and the timetables too challenging,' their study states.

The 2003 Act was controversial because it allowed 24-hour drinking, but also drew criticism from councils and the police over the cost and potential antisocial effects of the change. …

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