Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by the Licensing Committee of Harlow Council (PR 116)

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill 2010-11: Part 2, Amendments to the Licensing Act 2003

The Council’s Licensing Committee considered aspects of the above mentioned Bill relevant to the functions of a Licensing Authority under the Licensing Act 2003 and resolved that as its Chair I should draw their views to the attention of the Committee considering the Bill. Broadly the Licensing Committee welcomes the intention of all of the proposals in the Bill to rebalance the Licensing Act in favour of local communities. Specific issues that the Committee raised were:

1. Promotion of alcohol in an irresponsible manner

The Committee is concerned that a number of aspects of the pricing of alcohol lead to excessive drinking with adverse health and social effects, and had hoped that an opportunity might be found during the course of the Bill to include relevant provisions. However the Committee accepts that creating enforceable controls on pricing without unintended consequences is complex and needs careful consideration at national level.

2. Chapter 2: Late Night Levy – clause 130

The Committee supported the proposed power to impose a levy but felt that the proposed limitation on its discretion to determine how any income should be disbursed is unduly restrictive. Effective consultation on crime and disorder should lead to appropriate local arrangements: the Committee considers that there should be unfettered discretion for the Licensing Authority to determine how income should be used.

I trust that these comments will be of assistance to the Committee in considering the Bill.

February 2011