RCAS Newsletter extract  May 2003


Licensing                                                                                         Roger Mortimer


The Licensing Bill continues its inexorable progress onto the statute books. The political representation on the Commons Standing Committee concerned has enabled the Government to eliminate the modest improvements made to the Bill in the Lords. Unless there is an unexpected rebellion at the final debate in the Commons – or the Lords, the Bill will be law by July.


At the same time, the important ‘Guidance’ on how local councils should interpret the Bill is being refined – with the aid of a Working Party of 25 ‘stakeholders’.  This has a majority of members from licensed trade bodies – and not one representing of those who live in our cities – it would seem we are not ‘stakeholders’!

We cannot expect this Working Party to improve the present very prescriptive Guidance.


RCAS will continue to work with the City Council and Police in an attempt to encourage the setting up of local procedures that respects residential amenity as far as possible. Once this has happened and individual Premises Licence applications come in, quite possibly as early as this September, RCAS will be able to offer advice and support but it will be up to affected residents to prepare and present objections.


We have regularly explained the way pubs and bars are likely to use their new trading opportunities but most people are understandably reluctant to get involved until there is a threat in their immediate area. In the meantime we can offer a few suggestions about what could be done to prepare, by way of fact gathering, etc, over the next few months.