A public online consultation has been launched today asking for views on how local authorities should manage late night drinking venues.
The measures, contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and due to be introduced in the autumn, will empower local communities by:
- allowing local authorities to charge a levy for late-night licences to contribute to the cost of extra policing
- extending Early Morning Restriction Orders - a power that will allow licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol in all or part of their areas - to any time between midnight and 6am
The consultation asks whether some types of premises should be exempted from the new measures, or eligible for a reduction in the levy, if they are judged not to be major contributors to the type alcohol-related crime and disorder that can blight neighbourhoods. Such premises could be hotels, cinemas or community venues.
Minister for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction Lord Henley said: ‘Alcohol-related crime and disorder is a problem for many of our communities. These new measures give power back to local areas so they can respond to their individual needs.
‘But we also recognise that some types of premises that open late to serve alcohol do not contribute to late night drinking problems and should not be unduly penalised. That is why we are seeking views on whether they should be exempt or see a reduction in fees.
‘We are keen to hear from anyone who is affected by these new powers to help inform our plans to ensure the premises we have proposed are the right ones.’
The public, licensing authorities, the licensed trade and police are all encouraged to contribute their views.
You can access the online consultation here - it runs until 10 April 2012.