Licensing Laws: Urban Areas

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th April 2007.

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Photo of Anne Snelgrove Anne Snelgrove PPS (Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State), Department of Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the consistency of application of the Licensing Act 2003 by local authorities in urban areas.

Photo of Shaun Woodward Shaun Woodward Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Creative Industries & Tourism)

The evaluation of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 includes a review of the statutory Guidance given to the licensing authorities; the independent review of licence fees, which has included some areas of licensing administration; the impact of the Act on the four licensing objectives; and the DCMS simplification plan published in December last year. The evaluation will not be complete until later this year. It should be noted that the administration of the 2003 Act is devolved by its provisions to local licensing authorities. Local licensing authorities have some discretion to respond to local circumstances and absolute consistency is not an aim of the legislation. Where inconsistency is generated by misunderstanding, the Government have attempted to provide clarification through the statutory Guidance. We expect to publish revised Guidance in the early summer.

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