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Division No. 2


Aberdare, L.
Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blaker, L.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cobbold, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hylton, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L. [Teller]
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Saatchi, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Derby, Bp.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Guildford, Bp.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Morgan, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Ouseley, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

11 Mar 2003 : Column 1285

6.27 p.m.

[Amendment No. 14 not moved.]

Schedule 7 [Repeals]:

11 Mar 2003 : Column 1286

[Amendment No. 15 not moved.]

Schedule 8 [Transitional provision etc.]:

Lord Avebury moved Amendment No. 16:

    Page 160, line 22, after "conditions" insert "or undertakings"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we return to the subject of undertakings. I realise that we have already covered it in some detail, but not to the satisfaction of my noble friends and myself and, I think, others on this side of the House. We see undertakings as an integral part of the old system. We are very disappointed that they are not being carried over into the new regime.

Undertakings offered to the court by applicants contain many of the matters which reassure members of the public about environmental and nuisance concerns. Sometimes, those have to be fought for at great length. It is a backward step not to incorporate them into the new regime. I refer to situations where, in deciding whether to grant or renew a licence, a court has found that a material matter is at stake.

When we dicussed this matter on 4th March, the Minister said that the way to deal with undertakings was for an interested party to apply for a review of the premises licence,

    "if a licensee does something, or fails to do something, which was previously the subject of an undertaking, provided of course that the act or omission relates to the licensing objectives".—[Official Report, 4/3/03; col. 781.]

I can see two objections to that procedure. First, the licensee could surely argue that, if Parliament itself did not see fit to carry forward the undertakings, then he was under no obligation to honour them. The undertakings had no legal force previously, as we have been reminded, and now Parliament has deprived them of any moral force that they might have had.

Secondly, the failure to observe an individual undertaking might not have a significant impact on the licensing objectives as it might be very difficult to show that it had. The burden of proof is being shifted on to those who want the undertakings to be maintained and they are asked to undergo all the trouble and expense of invoking the Clause 51 procedure when they are not asking for the licence to be revoked but merely for the undertakings to be restored. If the objectors are successful in persuading the licensing authority that the grounds for a review—that is, that the licensee is no longer complying with undertakings given under the previous regime—are not frivolous or vexatious, and that each of the grounds is relevant to one or more of the licensing objectives, there has to be a full hearing at which the objectors would be obliged to present all the evidence that led to the undertaking being given in the first place. The licensing authority would then have the power, under Clause 52(4)(a), to modify the conditions of the licence as it saw fit. Presumably one way in which it could do so would be by re-attaching the undertakings in the form of conditions. Would it not save an awful lot of unnecessary work if your Lordships did that for them?

We have talked about this as though the undertakings would normally cover only one or two relatively minor issues, such as a pub ensuring that the

11 Mar 2003 : Column 1287

customers do not leave the premises with a glass after 10 o'clock at night—an example cited by the Minister—presumably in order to prevent the disorder that would arise from using the glass or a broken part of it as a weapon.

The problem is that although each undertaking might be comparatively small, cumulatively they might be of great importance, certainly to residents in the vicinity and arguably to the achievement of the licensing objectives. I was given an example this morning: in this application, the justices attached seven conditions to a licence and no fewer than 13 undertakings, some of them of no minor significance. For example, each morning, not before 8 a.m., cleaning contractors were to clean the frontage of the premises so as to remove any bottles, glasses, spillage from rubbish bins and evidence of urination, vomiting, and so on, by hot washing. If I were a resident of the neighbourhood, I would regard that as particularly important.

Are we now saying that the licensee can omit to perform the obligations he has just taken on? This application was heard in November; it is of very recent origin. If so, we are in effect telling the licensee that he does not need to bother with that any more. He can omit to carry out the washing and the cleansing of the front of the premises, no matter how much of a nuisance that will be for people living in the neighbourhood.

The undertakings have been a flexible and effective tool of the licensing system. They have helped to ensure that licensed premises operate in a manner so as to prevent unreasonable diminution of amenity and the environment in accordance with what is now the third of the licensing objectives. It would be the height of folly to throw all that work away and start again from scratch. I beg to move.

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