Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report

Letter from Burgess Hill Town Council

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Sunday Observance Act 1964. This was considered at a recent meeting of the Planning Committee where Members' comments were as follows:

    "The Council broadly welcomes this Consultation Paper. This Council agrees with the overall thrust of the lifting of restrictions on Sunday activity as outlined in the report. The updating of laws dating back to the 18th century is overdue.
  • Ref. 20 line 7 - wholly agree and therefore the changes are necessary.

  • Ref. 8 and 22 "other than Easter" - this assumes a totally practising Christian population, which is not the case in the United Kingdom. (Reference the National Statistics 13.24 & 13.25). Of a population of approximately 58 million, 38.1 declare themselves to be of a Christian religion, but of those numbers only 11 million attend religious services once a week. For those who are practising Christian, Easter is the most important festival, therefore licensing should take this into account in not causing a disturbance around churches over Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

  • Ref. 30 - Staff should be able to opt out of working on any one regular day of the week, which their religion regards as holy.

  • Ref. 36 - Wholly agree and welcome this updating to come into line with modern life."

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

David Carden, Town Clerk

25 August 1999

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