Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Home Office written question – answered at on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will (a) make an assessment of the potential impact of the provisions in the Licensing Act 2003 on levels of alcohol harm and (b) take steps to accordingly amend provisions in that Act to reduce alcohol harm.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the restrictions on licensing hours for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make it his policy to provide local government licensing committees with the power to turn down new licensing applications if police evidence demonstrates the potential risk to (a) policing, (b) public safety and (c) public health.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The Licensing Act 2003 provides a clear and effective legislative framework to regulate licensable activities, including the sale and supply of alcohol.

The Act strikes a balance between providing safeguards in the licensing system to promote public safety, prevent crime and disorder and ensure the responsible consumption of alcohol, while recognising the contribution licensed premises make to thriving night-time economies.

The Act already gives licensing authorities the power to make decisions regarding licensed opening hours as part of the implementation of their licensing policy statements. Licensing authorities are best placed to make such decisions based on their local knowledge and in consultation with other responsible authorities, including the police.

There are already mechanisms in place for police, as responsible authorities, to make representations to the licensing authority in relation to the application for the grant, variation or review of a licence should they have concerns relating to public safety.

We keep the Act under review and work closely with licensing practitioners to ensure the regime remains fit for purpose. We also regularly update the statutory guidance that is provided to licensing authorities to assist them in carrying out their functions under the Act.

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