Licensing Bill [HL]|
1. This Bill contains new provision for licensing
public entertainment, late night refreshment and the sale, etc.
of alcohol. It replaces, for England and Wales, a number of different
systems with a unified system operated by local authorities through
2. The Bill contains a number of delegated powers,
which (apart from clauses 111(2), 170(5) and 193(2)) are addressed
in the Memorandum from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
HENRY VIII POWERS
3. There are Henry VIII powers at clauses 111(2),
170(5), 173(3), 193(2) and paragraph 4 of Schedule 1. There is
also a very limited power in clause 182(7) to apply clause 182
to foreign companies.
4. Clause 111 provides for a list of "relevant
offences". These are offences which, if committed by an applicant
for a personal licence, lead to the licensing authority notifying
the chief officer of police. The list of offences is set out in
Schedule 4. Clause 111(2) enables the Secretary of State to amend
the list. The Committee is satisfied that both the delegation
and the negative procedure provided are appropriate.
5. Clause 170(5) is a limited power to disapply
clause 170(4), under which certain ports, airports or hoverports
designated under existing legislation are treated as designated
under the Bill. The effect of a place being designated is that
activities carried on there are not licensable. The Committee
considers the delegation and the negative procedure provided appropriate.
6. Clause 173(3) contains power to amend the
definition of "excluded premises", i.e. premises from
which alcohol may not be sold by retail or supplied. This is addressed
at paragraphs 118 to 120 of the Department's memorandum. The Committee
finds the Department's reasons for this provision convincing,
and considers that the affirmative procedure provided for is appropriate.
7. Clause 193(2) is a Henry VIII power given
to the Secretary of State to make, in consequence of any provision
of the bill or of any instrument made under it, such amendments
to Acts as appear to him to be appropriate. It is limited to amending
Acts passed before the relevant provision of the bill is in force,
but, as presently worded, it might be taken to impose a limit
on when an order might be made and the Committee feels some clarification
would be necessary if this were the intention.
8. Schedule 1 sets out what is meant by the "provision
of regulated entertainment" and therefore what is one form
of licensable activity. Paragraph 4 contains a power to modify
specific elements of this Schedule, explained at paragraphs 131
to 134 of the Department's memorandum. Both the delegation and
the level of scrutiny (affirmative) are appropriate.
9. Clause 9 enables regulations (subject to negative
procedure) to make provision about proceedings of licensing committees
and their sub-committees. Matters such as public access and publicity
for local authority committees are already provided for in primary
legislation (e.g. Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972). The
House may wish to enquire what use might be made of this power
as the regulations could not override primary legislation.
10. Clause 17(5) enables regulations (subject
to negative procedure) to require an application for a premises
licence to be advertised and to provide for representations. Procedural
matters of this kind are appropriate for subordinate legislation,
but in view of the potential importance to residents and others
of the grant of an application, the Committee considers that
there should be an express duty on the Secretary of State to provide
for an advertising and representations procedure. A similar point
arises with clauses 29(2), 33(5), 50(3), 70(6), 82(4) and 85(3).
11. Clause 169 enables the Secretary of State
to relax opening hours over periods of celebration, such as a
jubilee. Paragraphs 111 to 114 of the Department's memorandum
make the case for this provision; and the affirmative procedure
is appropriate. Clause 192(5) disapplies the hybrid instrument
procedure which would otherwise apply to a local order under clause
169. The Committee has in the past approved the disapplication
of that procedure. But the Committee considers that its disapplication
here is appropriate only if accompanied by a specific requirement
on the Secretary of State to consult groups representing those
likely to be affected by the order in the area to which it is
12. Clause 177 provides for the issue and revision
of guidance by the Secretary of State to licensing authorities.
Authorities are required to have regard to this guidance in carrying
out their licensing functions (clause 4(3)); so the guidance is
important to the operation of the bill. We considered that
there should be an opportunity to debate the guidance, and the
House may wish to consider whether the guidance might be brought
into operation only by order made by the Secretary of State and
subject to a Parliamentary procedure.
13. The Committee recommends that:
- the bill provide expressly that regulations under
clause 17(5) and similar provisions must secure that there is
an advertising and representations procedure (see paragraph 10
- that there be an express requirement in relation
to orders under clause 169 where the hybrid instrument procedure
would otherwise have attracted (paragraph 11 above);
- that the House should have a mechanism to debate
the guidance (see paragraph 12 above).