David Ruffley - MP for Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market

Licensing law U-turn

The Government has finally come out and admitted what many of us have known for months – its new licensing laws are a shambles.

Since the Government amended the licensing laws in November 2005, 3,000 premises have been given permission to serve alcohol 24 hours a day. Across the UK only 20 percent of premises can not open after 11pm, while only half are shut by midnight.

Now Tessa Jowell is about to tell local councils that there is ‘no general presumption in favour of lengthening licensing hours’. If only this had been said in November 2005 we all could have been spared a lot of trouble – 90 percent of pubs and clubs have already secured later opening hours and this guidance will not be retrospective.

I’m sure Suffolk residents particularly in the town centre of Bury St Edmunds will want to know how this will affect their quality of life. We’ll have to keep an eye on this.

Posted in Licensing laws on 29 January 2007 by David Ruffley



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