[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] ALE Spring 2004 No. 313

ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section

ALE Spring 2004 No. 313

At long last the Government's Draft Guidance on licensing reform has been laid before Parliament for approval. The delay has been mainly due to the Home Office wanting to strengthen the the public order aspects.

Once it is approved, it will assist licensing authorities in carrying out their functions to promote the four main aims of the Licensing Act 2003:

The Act amalgamates six existing licensing regimes: alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses and night cafés.

The licensing committees of local councils will use the Guidance to form their own policies over a 6-month consultation period and then they will accept licence applications over a 9-month changeover period before the Act comes into force.

The media has been whipping up froth about '24-hour drinking', which is a highly unlikely outcome: very few licensing committees are likely to grant such licences and then only to a few town centre bars each.

Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England

The Government has also published this strategy to complement the Guidance. Together they set out a blueprint for forging new partnerships with the health and police services, the drinks industry, and communities, to combat the range of problems caused by alcohol misuse in England.

The Strategy aims to:

CAMRA has welcomed the Strategy as it provides pub companies with an opportunity to get involved with their local communities in order to improve the pub scene in town centres. In recent years, too much investment has been made in large themed town centre bars aimed at the lucrative youth market, while traditional community pubs have often been left to whither. This approach has fuelled problems with alcohol-related disorder and made many town centres no-go areas for anyone over the age of 25.

To help reduce anti-social behaviour, pubs need to consider their layout and the provision of seating. The emphasis in pub design needs to move away from large drinking halls with few seats, where customers are forced to stand and more people can be crammed in. It is these conditions which fuel speed drinking and exclude older people. More town-centre pubs need to offer a relaxed environment with seating and amenities to attract a better mix of people, both young and old. It is this mix which makes the good old British pub such a great institution. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA