Clause 1 - The licensing objectives

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 10:45 am, 9th November 2004

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman that excessive drinking causes problems for the police, but I am sure that he would accept that it also causes problems for many other people in our towns and cities. Therefore, I wonder whether he would explain to the Committee why the wording of his amendment No. 37 refers to

''ensuring that the views of the Chief Constable for any police area determine the appropriateness of any increase in gambling provision in that area.''

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that his wording precisely means that the chief constable would be all-powerful in such matters? I would have far preferred

an amendment that sought to ensure that the views of the chief constable would be taken into account alongside the views of various other organisations, not least those of the local authority.