Clause 2 - Licensing authorities

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 3:30 pm, 9th November 2004

I wished to intervene on the Minister. He has sat down, but perhaps I could just make one small observation. The Minister said very clearly that the slight inconsistency that we have identified in respect of responsibility in metropolitan district council areas matches the provisions in the Licensing Act. We have obtained a copy of that Act, and he is entirely wrong. The list of authorities in the Licensing Act is exactly the same as the list of authorities in the Bill. However, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which lists the authorities that may give advice to a regional planning body, has a list that includes a county council, a district council for an area for which there is no county council—the two categories that are included in the Bill—and a third category of metropolitan district council. In other words, a metropolitan district council is not the same as a county council or a district council for an area for which there is no county council. It appears that it is not only the Gambling Bill that is deficient. Perhaps the Licensing Act is also deficient and half the country is not covered by it.