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The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn): When licensing and entertainment are on the agenda, we always have a lively debate. We have certainly had one this evening. There is broad consensus that the objectives of the Bill—[Interruption.] Well, the hon. Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), who is one of the more measured Members of the House, made a very sensible contribution—

Alistair Burt: A short one.

Mr. Caborn: Yes, but it was a very measured one. He homed in on a problem that has been discussed again this evening, namely that of village halls. We will take those issues on board through the high-level committee. One issue has been taken out of context today: Members said that there had been just one meeting with ACRE. There has been a whole series of such meetings, and ACRE welcomed the fact today that we had moved on temporary licensing. I should like to quote ACRE's newsletter of June 2005. It states:

I am not going to say that all the problems have been resolved. Clearly they have not, and a great deal of concern has been expressed this evening. However, let us
 
12 Jul 2005 : Column 802
 
be clear that what we are trying to do with this piece of legislation is to modernise in a way that most sensible people would want us to. We are reducing bureaucracy by merging six regulatory regimes into one. That is important for this country. This is about bringing the licensing regime into the 21st century. Central to that is the empowerment of local communities by increasing their right of intervention, which will be particularly important in licensing cases. The Act will enhance the democratic accountability and empowerment of local authorities; that is where we believe such powers should lie.

On the problems of binge drinking in modern society, we have removed the nuclear option that existed before. We have expanded police powers the better to enable the police to respond in a proportionate way when tackling crime and antisocial behaviour. That has been welcomed by many, particularly those in the police force and in the Association of Chief Police Officers, which recently reaffirmed its support for the Act.

The Act merges six complicated and, in some cases, outdated regulatory regimes into one. This will affect about 190,000 licensing authorities. We accept that there will be problems with implementation, but we shall be able to implement the provisions in regard to fees and to the operation of the Act, particularly for village halls and sports clubs. The hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Moss) did not choose a very good example of a club. Yesterday at Question Time, the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) mentioned Wimbledon cricket club. The club has an adult membership of 1,200, and an additional 800 junior members. It has a 9-acre site and is one of the wealthiest clubs in the country, thanks to the six-figure sum paid to it by its neighbour, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet club, which uses the site for car parking and corporate hospitality. It is therefore quite a wealthy club. I know that some Conservative Members might want to prosecute their case that such clubs should not pay the licence fee, but that would be wrong.

The main reason for this major piece of modernisation is something that the Opposition have been crying out for for years, namely the reduction of red tape and bureaucracy. That is what we are going to achieve. We are moving the whole licensing regime in a direction that many people in the tourism industry have been calling for. We have debated the tourism industry many times in the Chamber, and discussed how we want to modernise it and to increase its activity. The Act provides the tools to do that.

In relation to entertainment, which is linked to tourism with regard to central London, it is important that we modernise our licensing regimes. The chairman of the British Beer and Pubs Association said as late as 15 May this year that the Government

Therefore, the Act has had tremendous support across the board.

In terms of sports clubs, no Government have helped truly amateur sports clubs more than we have. We introduced mandatory rate relief, for which there have been calls for more than 30 years, and our investment in
 
12 Jul 2005 : Column 803
 
amateur sports clubs is second to none. If there are problems with genuine sports clubs, we will consider that, as I said that we would with regard to village halls.

I cannot do justice to all the points raised this evening, but I will respond in writing on those that I do not cover. Let me just respond to the point made by the Opposition spokesman about 24-hour opening not being an issue. The right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis), who might be the new leader of the Conservative party, said on 30 June,

And on 8 June, he said:

How can Opposition spokesmen say that there is no disagreement about 24-hour opening? They ought to get their act together.

As for the comments of the hon. Member for Bath    (Mr. Foster)—[Interruption.] The Yorkshire pronunciation is "Bath", although I know that it is "Barth" down there. I think it is also "Bath" in Scotland. On the question of delay, the hon. Member for Bath accused me, as the then Minister with responsibility for licensing, of procrastination and of not bringing the measure forward. At the turn of the year, he changed his mind, as the Liberals are prone to do, and now argues that he wants a delay. We never know where the Liberals stand. On the one hand they argue that they want a delay, while on the other they say they do not. But I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that there is no delay. We will make sure that the Act is implemented.

Mr. Walker: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Caborn: No.

In relation to the points made about the Local Government Association, may I put on record the role that local government and the Local Government Association have played overall in the implementation of the Act? It has been professional, detailed and extremely helpful. I say that from my own experience. As I said at Question Time on Monday, in the case of my trades and labour club, of which I am the honorary president, the volunteer who runs it, Alan Jackson, an ex-National Union of Public Employees steward, has got our licence through without any help from solicitors. That cost under £200, and the club has a turnover of about £500,000 a year. He admitted that it was a little difficult to start with, but once the steward's wife helped with filling out the form, it was pretty simple. The only mistake that Sheffield trades and labour club made in its application for a licence is that while we have all these extensions, we will only be open until 5 o'clock in the morning on general election night. That is disgraceful—as we will win the next two elections, the extension ought to be until midday the following day.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 193, Noes 303.
 
12 Jul 2005 : Column 804
 

Division No. 37
[9.59 pm


AYES

Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, Mr. David
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Conway, Derek
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Mr. Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Mr. Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Price, Adam
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and
Mr. Henry Bellingham


NOES

Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cook, rh Mr. Robin
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Ms Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Waltho, Lynda
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Claire Ward and
Tony Cunningham


Question accordingly negatived.


 
12 Jul 2005 : Column 807
 

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments), and agreed to.

Mr. Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

Resolved,


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