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Baroness Blackstone: I am sure that the noble Earl is trying to be helpful. I said that any request for a review has to be relevant. If it were not relevant, the review would not be allowed. I believe that that answers the noble Earl's question.

Baroness Buscombe: I thank the Minister for her reply and appreciate that on a couple of occasions we have gone over the issues relating to fees. This is an important area and it is certainly worth exploring, as we have done. I am also grateful to my noble friend Lord Onslow for his intervention. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 258 to 271 not moved.]

Clause 54 agreed to.

Clause 55 agreed to.

Clause 56 [Duty to keep and produce licence]:

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 272:

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 276.

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The amendments are intended to make life easier for the holder of the premises licence. As it stands, the Bill makes it obligatory for a copy of the original premises licence to be kept at the premises and to be produced on request. It must be appreciated that for many companies operating multiple sites, the original premises licences will be kept at head office, not at unit level. It appears very onerous for companies to have to obtain copies of the full licence for keeping at all sites. In the case of pub companies, that can mean thousands of outlets. In addition, the summary of the licence must in any case be displayed in each unit, just in case a constable or an authorised person asks to see it. A copy of the licence will always be available to the police and anyone else in the local authority through the registration process. Introducing a seven-day period in which to produce the full licence or a copy of it appears reasonable and is in line with the situation relating to driving licences. I beg to move.

Lord Redesdale: I rise to speak to these amendments, to which I have added my name. I want to raise two issues with the Government. First—this issue has been raised in relation to earlier parts of the Bill—a premises supervisor can be responsible for more than one premises. The link between the premises supervisor and the premises itself therefore appears less important than it once was.

My second point is that, as the licences will in any event be on-line and thus available to the police for perusal, I cannot necessarily see the need for a document to be physically present at the premises, especially as that will cause an enormous amount of paperwork which has to be kept up to date. Of course, I am not saying that the premises licence would not be kept up to date, but it seems that we are moving away from a paper-based to a more on-line-based system. In the light of that, it would be as easy for the police to check the licence on-line as it would be to scrutinise the document.

Lord Davies of Oldham: The provisions in Clause 56 are designed to allow a constable or authorised person to check on the spot and on an ad hoc basis, when appropriate, whether the activities carried on at the premises are carried out in accordance with the premises licence. I fully recognise that a policeman might be checking whether a licence provides for the selling of alcohol beyond midnight. The summary document that is likely to be available at the public house would suffice and would meet that requirement.

However, I believe that the Committee will recognise that the licences which it is proposed will be issued under the legislation will, in many cases, be far more extensive than that. A policeman may go along to check whether particular rooms in an inn are being used according to the licence or whether children should be there at certain times. The question of whether the conditions of the licence, reflecting the extension of the opportunities we are providing to licensed premises, were being complied with would not be evident from the summary document but only from the main premises licence. We maintain that a

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policeman would need to be able to check that at the time. If an abuse were occurring, he would need to put a stop to it immediately.

Lord Avebury: Presumably the police officer who was visiting the premises would have ascertained that beforehand by looking at the licence on-line so that he would know what he was coming to inspect.

Lord Davies of Oldham: That presumes that the policeman set out to do precisely that and had full knowledge of the potential offence. However, we are looking at circumstances in which, as part of their normal duties, the police inspect premises when a concern is raised. For example, they may just have received a complaint from local householders that the music in a pub is loud and offensive and causing great aggravation. The question is whether the pub has the appropriate licence to engage in that form of entertainment. If it has, it is possible that the policeman will ask for the windows to be closed or that he will make some other simple request. However, if the licensee is offending against the licence and has no right to engage in such an activity, the policeman must put a stop to the abuse. He can do so only if he is able to check the full text of the licence.

Members of the Committee are suggesting that every policeman has easy and immediate access to all on-line information. I am well aware that such access is used with regard to certain motoring offences at present, and I understand that it is not always used without distress because weaknesses appear in the records. But, in this case, a policeman may be acting precipitously to enforce the law, as he would be obliged to do, and he must operate on proper grounds. The only way that he can be assured of being on proper grounds is to check what the full licence of the premises contains. We maintain that comparing such a licence to a driving licence, which may be required to be submitted within seven days, would not enable immediate police enforcement to take place.

The Earl of Onslow: The noble Lord reminds me of pre-war war Ministers defending the use of horsed cavalry. The licence is on-line. "Plod" is asked to check. He will check the licence before he checks the premises, otherwise he will say, "We think you might be doing something wrong. Can we see if you are by what your licence says?". The on-line facility is supposed to make life easier both for individuals and for enforcement authorities. Surely it is far more sensible to allow these matters to function with access to the on-line licence.

Presumably, when the policeman presses a button, up will come the line on his laptop computer carried in the police car—the police do have access to such equipment. If someone rings up and complains about noise, the police will say, for example, that it is a matter for the environmental health people or that the place where the noise is coming from does not have a licence. The alternative is to look for the licence, which will

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have to be duplicated all over the place. I believe that it is possible for such work to be carried out electronically and not by horsed-cavalry means.

Baroness Buscombe: I thank the Minister for his reply. I listened carefully to what he said. Indeed, his response appeared to be entirely reasonable, although clearly Members of the Committee are not completely satisfied with it. I shall take care to read what he said in Hansard and, for the moment, beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 273:

    Page 33, line 8, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

"(b) the premises supervisor"

The noble Baroness said: In speaking to Amendment No. 273, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 274 and 275. These amendments are straightforward. Clause 56 deals with the duty to keep and produce the premises licence. As the Bill stands, the situation is confused. It introduces a person at the premises who has been nominated specifically to keep and produce the licence if required. That position seems to be superfluous. A specific designated premises supervisor has already been nominated; now we have a person whose only role is to produce the premises licence if required. There must even be a notice at the premises specifying the position of the latter individual.

Our amendment would simply remove the requirement for that individual and insert instead "the premises supervisor". Every premises already has someone in charge. Surely the easiest solution is if the individual—that is, the manager of the premises—holds the personal licence and has the job of producing the premises licence on demand. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am sure that the Committee would not wish me to make my "designated premises supervisor" speech again. I do not believe that any new issues are raised by these amendments, other than those that we have already discussed. However, there is a new misunderstanding. The amendments would require all premises to designate a designated premises supervisor. Of course, designated premises supervisors are required only in the case of alcohol licences. Therefore, the amendments would be inappropriate for places of public entertainment or late-night refreshment.

Baroness Buscombe: I thank the Minister for his response. Clearly this is another good reason why we should, as the Minister kindly suggested earlier, agree to have a meeting to discuss the whole issue of designated premises supervision. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 274 to 276 not moved.]

Clause 56 agreed to.

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4 p.m.

Clauses 57 to 60 agreed to.

Clause 61 [The general conditions]:

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