Clause 113

Part of Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:30 pm on 10th February 2011.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 1:30 pm, 10th February 2011

We move on to the issue of conditions attached—or not, as the case may be—to TENs. The amendments attempt to close the loophole that exists whereby the conditions on a premises licence do not  apply for the duration of the temporary event notice, and to introduce a mechanism for adding controls to a temporary event notice in unlicensed premises.

When temporary event notices were introduced, there was a light-touch regime to minimise the regulatory burden on small, ad hoc events that were unlikely to give rise to problems. Unfortunately, the use of TENs has far exceeded the Government’s expectations, as some people regard them as a way of circumventing licensing controls. Some 124,400 TENs were used in the financial year ending in March 2010, according to the “DCMS National Statistics Bulletin” for April 2009 to March 2010.

The Bill proposes that, when a TEN is sought for a licensed premises, it is only following a representation—for example, from the police or the environmental health authority, as has been mentioned—that licensing authorities will be able to insist that relevant conditions from the licence also apply for the duration of the temporary event notice. Regulations will stipulate the process, format and time scales for notifying applicants of those conditions.

A more transparent and less burdensome approach would be for all existing premises licence conditions to apply automatically, apart from those that will be altered by the issuing of a temporary event notice—in general, that would be about the hours—and that is what the lead and following amendments propose. For example, if there are conditions on a premises licence that apply until midnight—having to have doors and windows kept closed during live entertainment, and requiring door supervisors to disperse crowds quietly at the end of the evening—a temporary event notice that extends the hours during which alcohol can be sold until 1 am should automatically be subject to the same conditions.

The amendment would allow a licensing authority to add appropriate conditions to temporary event notices that are granted to unlicensed premises. That is necessary to allow authorities to add simple controls to such temporary event notices—for example, on timings and noise restrictions. If premises do not have an existing license, no conditions would exist to be automatically transferred. Currently, no mechanism exists for adding controls to a temporary event notice in unlicensed premises. Will the Minister address the amendment? It is meant to be helpful, as it deals with a problem that might have been overlooked in the original 2003 Act.