The government set a clear commitment to overhaul alcohol licensing to tackle the crime and disorder caused by alcohol and the resultant health and social harms, and to rebalance the Licensing Act 2003 in favour of local communities.
From July to September 2010, the Home Office conducted a public consultation exercise on the rebalancing of the Licensing Act 2003.
You can read through the original consultation and accompanying documents, as well as the government response to the 'Rebalancing the Licensing Act' consultation and the full consultation analysis (part one and part two).
Proposals outlined in the Rebalancing the Licensing Act consultation were taken forward in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which received royal assent on 15 September 2011 and is now the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSR Act).
The new measures in the Act include:
- doubling the fine for persistent underage sales to £20,000
- introducing a late night levy to help cover the cost of policing the late night economy
- increasing the flexibility of early morning alcohol restriction orders
- lowering the evidential threshold on licensing authorities
- removing the vicinity test for licensing representations to allow wider local community involvement
- reforming the system of temporary event notices (TENs)
- suspension of premises licences due to non-payment of annual fees
The majority of these measures came into force on 25 April 2012. The late-night levy and early morning alcohol restriction orders were commenced on 31 October 2012.
The PRSR Act also gave a power to the Home Secretary to prescribe, through regulations, that licensing fee levels are set locally on a cost-recovery basis. We intend to introduce regulations in the summer of 2013. We will consult on the regulations governing the fee structure before introducing them, including the maximum amount that can be charged.
In January 2012, we launched a consultation on early morning restriction orders (EMROs) and the late night levy. The consultation, which closed on 10 April 2012, sought views on particular aspects of EMROs and the levy, including the
- process of adopting an EMRO and/or the levy
- categories of business which will be exempt from any EMRO
- categories of business which individual licensing authorities may choose to exempt from, or afford a reduction in relation to, the late night levy
- kinds of services a licensing authority may fund with their share of the levy
The response to the consultation was published on 4 July 2012 and includes and includes the final policy design for these measures.
The statutory guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been revised to reflect the changes introduced by the PRSR Act.
Supporting guidance is available, which covers the changes introduced by the PRSR Act, which came into force on 25 April 2012.
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