Theresa May (Shadow Secretary of State for the Family & Culture, Media & Sport, The Family & Culture, Media & Sport; Maidenhead, Conservative)
No, I want to make some progress.
Let us examine the detail of the Act's implementation. Applications are automatically granted unless an objection is made. However, only certain people are allowed to object. For example, residents can object only if they live in the immediate vicinity of the premises concerned. The definition of "vicinity" is down to the local authority. There are plenty of examples of local authorities that have adopted definitions such as 100 yd or 150 m, which has resulted in people being unable to object to applications for licence extensions until 6 am because they live 150 yd away from the pub or nightclub. They are told that they cannot object because they do not live close enough to it. Those who decide to take their objection to a magistrates court find themselves threatened with legal bills of thousands of pounds because they are responsible not only for the licensee's costs but for the costs of the local authority.