Shisha Lounges

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

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood 3:22 pm, 5th December 2018

From the work that I have done, and from engaging with Birmingham City Council, I know that council officers who deal with shisha issues in local authorities where it is a problem are already in contact with one another. They know each other well and get together regularly to share best practice, so it happens already. I appreciate what the Minister has said so far. I guess what I was explaining from my experience, which I hope has been noted a bit more than the Minister’s speech has signalled, is that the current rules have too many gaps. Unless there is alcohol, nothing can be done. It is too difficult to get action where there is a licence for alcohol, but if there is no alcohol licence it still takes too long. Of the three shisha bars in my constituency that were closed, two did not have licences for alcohol. I hope that he will reflect on that.