Propel Morning Briefing

Lords to debate effectiveness of Licensing Act 2003

The House of Lords will debate the legislative scrutiny report on the Licensing Act 2003 that was published in April, together with the government response published last month.

The report, by the House of Lords Licensing Act 2003 Committee, considered the effectiveness of the Act and changes that should be made 11 years after it came into force.

The main recommendation was responsibility for licensing should be transferred from local authority licensing committees to planning committees.

Other major recommendations included planning inspectors to hear appeals; more training for councillors before sitting on a licensing committee; changes to better regulate “pre-loading”; applying the Act to airports; better disabled access to licensed premises; a better balance of interests between licensed premises owners and neighbours; and evaluation of the Scottish minimum unit pricing scheme before applying it in England.

Chairman of the committee Baroness McIntosh of Pickering: “The committee’s conclusion was the Act was fundamentally flawed. The government has accepted a number of our recommendations and promised to consider and consult on others. But it has rejected some of our more important recommendations. I welcome this opportunity to challenge ministers on this and to hear what they have to say.”

The debate will start at 4.30pm on Wednesday (20 December) in the House of Lords. Baroness McIntosh of Pickering will start the debate, while Baroness Williams of Trafford will respond on behalf of the government.


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