Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform First Report

Appendix 10

Letters from the Clerk of the Committee to the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association, the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, The British Institute of Innkeeping and the National Parliamentary Committee, Licensed Victuallers Association (dated 20 July 2001)

Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Special Occasions Licencing) Order 2001

I understand that you have previously responded to the Government's consultation on the above Regulatory Reform proposal, which is intended to relax licencing hours on New Years' Eve this year.

The proposal was laid before Parliament on 28 June. It now 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.

Due to the timetable for Parliamentary scrutiny laid down in the Regulatory Reform Act, under which this proposal has been laid before Parliament, it would not be possible for the Order to come into effect until, at the earliest, early to mid-December. As a result, the Committee is in some doubt as to the practical value of the proposal to the licensed trade. It seems unlikely that licensees would wait until such a late stage before making the necessary arrangements for opening on New Year's Eve, and that most would therefore already have applied for special orders of exemption before the order came into effect.

The Committee would be grateful for your opinion as to whether this is the case, and if so, whether in the circumstances the proposal retains any practical value.

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