Letter from the Clerk of the Deregulation and
Regulatory Reform Committee to the Justices'
Clerks Society, the Magistrates'
Association and the Association of Justices'
Chief Executives (dated 19 July 2001)
Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Special Occasions
Licencing) Order 2001
I understand that you have previously responded to
consultation on the above Regulatory Reform proposal, which is
intended to relax licencing hours on New Years'
Eve this year.
As you will be aware, the proposal has now been laid
before Parliament, and it therefore falls to the relevant Parliamentary
committees to examine it. The House of Commons Deregulation and
Regulatory Reform Committee considered the proposal for the first
time at its meeting last Tuesday.
Following initial consideration of the proposal,
the Committee is very concerned that the late stage at which it
has been brought forward undermines the maintenance of necessary
protection (safeguarded in this proposed Order by the system of
restriction orders). Because of the timetable for Parliamentary
scrutiny laid down in the Regulatory Reform Act, the proposed
Order could not become law before early to mid-December. This
leaves only a very short time for those concerned to apply for
restriction orders, and in particular for the licencing authorities
to consider such applications.
The Committee would therefore be grateful for your
views on the practicability of the proposed Order, with particular
reference to the ability of licencing authorities to consider
applications for restriction orders.
The Committee would also be interested to hear your
views on whether it is the case that the majority of licensees
will already have made provision for opening over New Year's
Eve before this Order could come into effect; and if so what value
the proposal has in terms of removing or reducing burdens.