Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by the British Hospitality Association (PR 15)


1. The British Hospitality Association has particular concerns about the impact of Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders (clause 119) and the Late Night Levy (clauses 124 to 135) on the hospitality industry. Decisions on exemptions for hotels and restaurants are to be left to individual councils, but should instead be exempt on the face of the Bill.


2. The British Hospitality Association is the national association for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry. Our members include major hotel and restaurant chains, as well as small and medium enterprises from across the industry. Hospitality employs over 2 million people in the UK and contributes gross value added of nearly £50 billion a year (source: Oxford Economics).


3. The Bill contains a number of provisions about which we share concerns with other industry associations. However, we have particular difficulties over Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders ("EMROs") and the Late Night Levy ("the Levy"), because of the possibility that they will have a particular impact on premises like hotels and restaurants which do not contribute to the law and order problems which these provisions are intended to address. Our comments are restricted to these two sets of linked proposals.

The proposals, as drafted, would permit, but not force, a local authority (i) to prevent premises from selling alcohol at times of its choosing between midnight and 6.00 a.m. (an EMRO), and (ii), at times when a restriction order was not in place, to charge a levy to those premises which had the right to sell alcohol at those times.

5. Of the 7567 Premises in England and Wales with so-called "24 hour licences," some 4219 or 56 per cent are hotels (source: DCMS 2009-10 licensing statistics). In the overwhelming majority of cases (3554 out of the 4219), hotels hold Premises Licences with these hours so that they can serve alcohol at any time to guests staying in the hotel and only to them. If such hotels were to be subject to EMROs, preventing staying guests from obtaining alcohol at certain times in the night, the tourism industry would suffer a loss of business.

6. If, alternatively, a levy were to be charged during part or all of that six hour period, hotels so charged would be paying for police, taxi marshals and so on, for whose services they had no use because their guests do not need to go home during the night. Because hotels have relatively high rateable values, on which levy payments would be based, they would be paying potentially significant amounts.

7. Restaurants in the traditional sense of having as their main purpose the sale and consumption of food and light refreshments do not in practice contribute to law and order problems when their guests depart. However, a local authority imposing an EMRO could force restaurants to cease to serve alcohol as early as midnight and one imposing a levy would be loading inappropriate cost on them.


8. We therefore propose that hotels and restaurants (as defined below, including clubs offering hotel and restaurant services) should be exempt on the face of the Bill from both the EMRO and levy provisions. There is a precedent for this, ironically in the wording of The Local Authorities (Alcohol Disorder Zones) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/1430).

9. Under these regulations, premises are exempt from ADZ charges if they can pass both the "principal use" and the "patronage" test.

10. The principal use test (regulation 12 (2) (a)) is met where "the principal use to which the premises …is put does not consist in or include the sale or supply of alcohol." The patronage test (regulation 12 (2) (b)) is met where "the availability of alcohol on those premises is not the main reason, or one of the main reasons, why individuals enter or remain on those premises (whether generally or at particular times of the day or on particular days of the week…or both)."

11. The Home Office guide to setting up Alcohol Disorder Zones explains that certain premises, including hotels, theatres, sports clubs, bingo halls and casinos pass both the tests "and must be exempt." In the case of restaurants, exemption depends on the nature of the premises. One recent development has been the "restaurant with rooms," where diners would generally stay after eating and would therefore make no contribution to law and order problems.


We hope that the Committee will be able to agree that exemption of hotels and restaurants on the face of the Bill, rather than giving each local authority the power to exempt or not, is the right way forward.

January 2011