Shisha Lounges

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:22 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 3:22 pm, 5th December 2018

I am extremely grateful for that intervention, which draws me on to my next point. When we acknowledge that something new may have problems attached to it, we should next ask ourselves whether a national or local response would be better. I want to consider what can be done through existing local authority powers, whether through entertainment licences or by engaging in collaborative working. As has been identified, at the moment shisha bars tend to be in concentrated areas across England, but perhaps a national response is not the best one. I shall certainly ask my officials to look at the best practice that has been adopted in Manchester and Westminster. Whatever the outcome of the debate, we can probably all learn from that. Where local authorities have identified shisha bars as an issue for their area, or even a benefit, it would be worth their talking to each other and working together. I am sure there is best practice to be shared.