New Clause 3 — Alcohol disorder zones

Part of Crime and Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 8th March 2010.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 7:00 pm, 8th March 2010

Well, we have certainly got the Minister excited on this point. I do not know whether that is the pent-up frustration of not having been involved in some of the previous debates. A lot of better regulation is about giving power back to communities. When the Licensing Act 2003 was introduced, it was supposed to be all about giving power back to local communities, but the Minister has made it very clear that it is actually all about central control, and that local accountability is a lie, because it has to be fettered very firmly by the dead hand of central Government, with the Home Office controlling what happens.

The Minister's comments have highlighted how unworkable the provisions are. In many ways, he has made my case for me, having shown the unlikelihood of local authorities being able to use the powers set out in the Bill because they have been fettered by so much central control.