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News - 27 July 2010
Licensed trade groups concerned over government proposals
Trade figures are 'disappointed' by the details of government’s licensing regime shake-up. Kate Nicholls of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers branded the consultation a “missed opportunity”.
“I had hoped for a more creative approach, but it’s just the same old story,” she said. “It’s particularly disappointing after the Conservatives pledged to save the pub before the election.”
The consultation, launched this week, includes a host of new plans to help deal with alcohol-related problems, including a hike in licence fees and having a health objective in the Licensing Act.
Nicholls pointed out there was a lot potential new red tape for pubs to deal with, but not much was being removed. “There’s a lot of big stick, but no sign of a carrot,” she added. She also attacked the lack of action against the off-trade, despite the threat of a ban on below-cost selling. “It still does nothing to address the problem of the rising tide of unregulated consumption in the home,” Nicholls said.
Brigid Simmonds, the British Beer & Pub Association’s chief executive, said many of the new powers already existed and just needed to be used properly. “A very positive result that could come from this review is greater clarity for local people, local authorities and local police about the powers they do have and greater encouragement to use them,” she said.
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