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Lord Evans of Parkside: My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for that remark. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 70 [Application for club premises certificate]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 136:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 71 [Determination of application for club premises certificate]:

The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Pitkeathley): My Lords, if Amendment No. 137 is agreed to, I will not be able to call Amendment No. 138.

[Amendment No. 137 not moved.]

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 138:

    Page 41, line 26, leave out from "application" to end of line 28.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, as we made clear in Committee, the Government recognise that different considerations arise in relation to clubs, which are private premises to which public access is restricted. That is why they are treated separately from pubs, bars and other licensed premises. I made that point when responding to my noble friend's amendment a few moments ago. It is why the supply of alcohol for consumption by members and guests on premises for which there is in force a club premises certificate are subject to a different regime with lighter controls.

In drafting the Bill, where appropriate, provisions have been applied to both premises with a premises licence and those with a club premises certificate. Clause 72 seeks to apply what is a mandatory condition for premises licences—that, where the condition is attached to a licence that door supervisors are required, the licence must include a condition that those supervisors are registered with the Security Industry Authority—to club premises certificates also.

As a result of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, as consequentially amended, that mandatory condition does not apply to premises used exclusively by clubs with a club premises certificate. That means that Clause 72 is disapplied in relation to the very premises to which it actually applies. It is therefore unnecessary, and Amendment No. 145 seeks to remove it. Amendments Nos. 138, 143, 155, 161, 280 and 281 are consequential, removing references to Clause 72. I hope that noble Lords will support the amendment. I beg to move.

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I support the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 139 to 142 not moved.]

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Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 143:

    Page 41, line 40, leave out from "objectives" to end of line 42.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 144 not moved.]

Clause 72 [Mandatory conditions: door supervision]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 145:

    Leave out Clause 72.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 75 [Grant or rejection of application for club premises certificate]:

[Amendments Nos. 146 to 149 not moved.]

Clause 82 [Application to vary club premises certificate]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 150:

    Page 46, line 23, leave out "power to make regulations under" and insert "duty to make regulations imposed on the Secretary of State by"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 83 [Determination of application under section 82]:

[Amendments Nos. 151 to 154 not moved.]

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 155:

    Page 47, line 17, leave out subsection (7).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 84 [Supplementary provision about applications under section 82]:

[Amendments Nos. 156 and 157 not moved.]

Clause 85 [Application for review of club premises certificate]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 158:

    Page 48, line 19, leave out "Regulations under this section may" and insert "The Secretary of State must by regulations under this section"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 86 [Determination of application for review]:

[Amendments Nos. 159 and 160 not moved.]

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 161:

    Page 49, line 32, leave out subsection (5).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 90 [Fees]:

[Amendments Nos. 162 and 163 not moved.]

Clause 98 [Temporary event notice]:

Lord Clarke of Hampstead moved Amendment No. 163A:

    Page 55, line 40, leave out "ten" and insert "twenty-eight"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 166, which proposes a new clause to Clause 102, to Amendments Nos. 170, 174, 176 and 178 in Clause 103 and to Amendments Nos. 179, 182 and 184 to 186 in Clause 104. Most of those amendments, noble Lords will be pleased to know, are consequential.

27 Feb 2003 : Column 484

This group of amendments deals with extending the notice period and the grounds for objection to cover all the licensing objectives, and to make provision for the fire and licensing authorities to object to an application if they believe that that is necessary. The House heard many of the arguments in favour of the amendments at earlier stages of the Bill. While I do not want to delay our proceedings unnecessarily, it is right that comments should be made on the replies given in Committee by my noble friend Lord McIntosh of Haringey. We considered proposals to, among other things, extend the notice period that must be given to local authorities from 10 to 28 days; allow local authorities and fire authorities—not simply the police authority—to object; extend the "notice to object" period for police, fire and local authorities from 10 to 28 working days; and give powers to the relevant authorities to object on the grounds of all of the licensing objectives and not simply the crime prevention objective. I hope that the Government will reconsider their objections to the amendments.

I recognise and support the Government's plans to simplify the temporary events application procedure. In answer to the inquiry posed by my noble friend Lord McIntosh in Committee—he was explaining why the relevant authorities need more than 10 days' notice—I say to him and the House that it is recognised that in the vast majority of cases, applications for temporary events, such as church fetes, will be uncontroversial. However, there will be a minority of cases, such as an application for music festivals and other events involving, for example, marquees, where local authorities will have a duty to investigate the application and undertake noise and safety checks.

In addition, there will be some cases, such as a proposed event being put on by a major club promoter that is likely to attract more than 500 people, when local consultation will need to happen. Ten working days will not be enough time in which to send out letters to residents and receive responses. Twenty-eight days is the current notification period, and it is a reasonable notice period for any event, whether a pop festival or a church fete. Organisations putting on events usually advertise those events well in advance to attract people to the event. It is clear that the Government recognise the importance of having a reasonable notice period.

In the draft guidance relating to Clause 177, temporary event notice 9.9 states:

    "Ten working days is the minimum possible notice that may be given. Licensing authorities should publicise locally their preferences in terms of proper notice and encourage notice givers to provide the earliest possible notice of events likely to take place".

If the Government acknowledge that a longer notice period of 10 days should be given, why can it not be included in the Bill? A better solution would be to formalise the process and increase the notice period in the Bill. In that way regional variations of notice will be avoided.

I turn to the amendments that deal with extending the grounds to object to cover the licensing objectives and allow the fire and licensing authorities to make

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objections. I again refer to the points made by my noble friend Lord McIntosh, who said in Committee that allowing fire and licensing authorities to object on the grounds of all the licensing objectives would make life difficult for applicants. He also said that it would require them to "jump through hoops".

It is my firm belief that allowing licensing and fire authorities to object will affect only a small number of applications. I refer, for example, to music events and other events where authorities have legitimate grounds for believing they will attract more than 500 people, the permitted limit for temporary events. It is inconceivable that local authorities will want to object to school fetes or Women's Institute coffee mornings; they would have no reasonable grounds, time or resources to do so. Increasing the number of objectors who can be considered is necessary to ensure consistency and uniformity through the Bill. That will simplify the application process.

The legislation as it stands requires a potential event organiser to apply to the local authority for an occasional licence. The local authority then surveys the venue and takes into account the size of the venue, the type of entertainment and any special effects, and so on. It assesses the suitability of the premises, sets an accommodation limit and ensures that noise nuisance is minimised.

Under the proposed new system of temporary event notices, local authorities would not be able to object. Therefore, it is possible that applications will be received for venues which are not suitable for public entertainment, regardless of the numbers attending. The police are not qualified to assess the suitability of premises or to calculate capacity. Under the new system, therefore, the possibility of the use of unsafe venues for one-off events is greatly increased.

Without the wider objectives being taken into account, there will be instances when safety and noise legislation cannot be brought to bear. For example, an event put on by volunteers is not subject to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act as no one is at work. It is obvious that the legislation would not apply in those circumstances. That means it will not be possible to protect public safety at such events. That cannot be right.

Considerable noise nuisance can be caused by such events and it will be difficult for local authorities to take action once the event is under way. An organisation cannot be said to be asked to "jump through hoops" if it is simply asked to indicate how it will comply with the law.

Section 9.10 of the draft guidance, which deals with temporary event notices, states:

    "Licensing authorities may not seek to attach any terms, limitations or restrictions on such events other than those set down in the legislation. It is however desirable for licensing authorities to provide local advice about proper respect for the concerns of local residents; of other legislative requirements regarding heath and safety; noise pollution or the building of temporary structures".

27 Feb 2003 : Column 486

Providing local advice about public safety and public nuisance is good practice. However, there seems little point in doing so if local authorities are then unable to assess the premises to ensure that the measures taken by the organisers to address public safety and noise pollution are sufficient and, if the measures taken are not sufficient, to have the right to object to the temporary event taking place. As I said, current safety legislation cannot deal with these matters.

In conclusion, we are all aware that police resources are stretched in most areas of the country and therefore the police will not always be able to respond to public safety or public nuisance call-outs on the day of the event. It is much better to consider these objectives at the time of application for the temporary event.

A further consideration is the tragedy of the fire at Rhode Island last Thursday night. That occurred as a result of the unauthorised use of pyrotechnics. Under the current system of occasional licences, local authorities would pick that up and control the use of pyrotechnics through conditions. Under the proposed system, local authorities would not be able to object to the event, even if they knew that pyrotechnics were to be used by an inexperienced person in an unsuitable building. It is worth noting that the licensed capacity of the venue was 300. That event, which resulted in tragedy, would not have needed a premises licence under this proposal. I beg to move.

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