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Baroness Buscombe: I thank the Minister for his response. I had rather hoped, given that I was so brief, that he might respond warmly and accept the

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amendment. However, I agree with him that "place" is a good English word. I thank him for the clarification of the meaning of that word in the Bill. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 445 not moved.]

Clause 188 agreed to.

Clause 189 [Index of defined expressions]:

On Question, Whether Clause 189 shall stand part of the Bill?

Lord Brightman: I applaud the Minister's drafting team for including Clause 189, on page 104, which is an index of specially defined words and expressions used in the Bill. It is of great convenience to the reader. By referring to the left-hand column of the index, the reader can discover at a glance whether a word or expression has or has not a special statutory meaning. If so, the right-hand column tells the reader at a glance where the meaning is to be found. Once rarely found in Bills, an index is becoming a feature of a number of well drafted Bills.

The health Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, at a closing stage of the Adoption and Children Bill last October, said that,

    "having an easy-to-understand glossary is of use to a Minister as it is to every other Member of your Lordships' House. I commend that very good practice of my own department to other government departments".—[Official Report, 30/10/02; col. 251.]

I hope that, in time, every long Bill will have an index of defined expressions to help the reader.

Lord Avebury: I would more readily join the noble and learned Lord in applauding the index if it contained the word "vicinity". I apologise for returning to the subject. When I last raised it, the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, told me that the "vicinity" of a pub meant only the pub itself, the car park and associated land in the immediate vicinity. Obviously, that is not the case, because "vicinity" includes places where residents have a right to object.

That is why the word is important—sufficiently so to be included in the index. A person living one street away from the premises to which a licence application pertains may wonder whether he has a right to object. If he lives two streets away, does he still have that right? The vagueness of the term "vicinity" and the absence of any direct way in which residents can ascertain whether they are within this mythical area may cause much trouble when the Bill becomes law.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I must correct the noble Lord, Lord Avebury. I did not set out to define "vicinity". I referred to the specific context in which the word was used in the clause we were debating at the time. Although I do not have the text in front of me, it referred to "vicinity" and another quality; therefore I did not define "vicinity".

I express the gratitude of the Bill team and the parliamentary draftsman to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman, for his kind words about

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Clause 189. We appreciate that he had to stay until quite late on Thursday in the hope of reaching this clause so that he could say his kind words.

Clause 189 agreed to.

Clause 190 agreed to.

Clause 191 [Removal of privileges and exemptions]:

On Question, Whether Clause 191 shall stand part of the Bill?

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: I have taken an interest in the matter of the Worshipful Company of Vintners in the City of London, referred to in this clause, since its affairs were addressed in the White Paper. That was partly due to a then constituency interest, and because the company's privileges date back to a royal charter under King James I of England and King James VI of Scotland. Intemperate interference with royal charters can send a shiver up the spine of larger institutions such as universities, which might fear not so much Henry VIII powers as Henry VIII policies.

Against those combined concerns, I took the liberty of bringing the Corporation of London into the matter. I am conscious that the company has been having constructive and productive conversations with the corporation, on one hand, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on the other. I gather that the Government are minded to put into regulations an interpretation of these matters which is acceptable to the company. I raise the point at this stage only to secure an acknowledgement from the Government in Committee that my account is not at variance with their view and that they intend to include company-related matters discussed between the company and the department in regulations at a later stage.

Lord Davies of Oldham: I am happy to confirm that that is the case. I am grateful to the noble Lord. I thought I heard for the first time in our debate the use of the word "intemperate" interference. We certainly do not intend to use that word with regard to this Bill.

Lord Monson: I thought that the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, would press more vigorously his opposition to the clause. I declare an interest as a Cambridge graduate, although I was unaware of the privileges and exemptions referred to in the clause before I saw the Bill. Why are the Government so intent on eliminating every minor, historical anomaly in this country? They harm nobody and give pleasure to many.

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Bill is about deregulation and modernising our provision for the good of the community. Modernisation would thwart certain exemptions and privileges that are at least 400 or 500 years old.

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: It would be discourteous of me not to thank the Minister for his

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response. In referring to "intemperate interference" with royal charters, I was harking back to the White Paper. I was not seeking to make it apply to the Bill.

Clause 191 agreed to.

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 446:

    After Clause 191, insert the following new clause—

(1) The Secretary of State shall publish each year a report on the effects on public health of the change in licensing policy introduced under this Act.
(2) In each report under subsection (1) the Secretary of State shall include—
(a) an assessment by the Chief Medical Officer of the public health advantages and disadvantages of alcohol and the licensing policy set out under this Act, including, specifically, the benefits of 24-hour drinking and the impact of the operation of the Act on young people between the ages of 16 and 21 and on children,
(b) a statement of the number of facilities in England and Wales offering 24-hour drinking, listed by the licensing authority,
(c) a statement of the number of fixed penalty offences, cautions and convictions for alcohol related offences in the preceding year, together with details of the number of recorded offences under Part 7 of this Act,
(d) an estimate of the number of days lost to work as a result of alcohol related absence,
(e) an estimate of the cost to the National Health Service of treating alcohol related illness,
(f) a statement by the Secretary of State as to whether the reform of licensing policy has had any effect on the factors in paragraphs (b) to (e),
(g) a statement from the bodies representing licensing authorities under section 3(1) setting out the costs of implementing licensing policy under this Act; whether those costs have been fully recovered through fees; and the impact, if any, of policy under this Act on the level and nature of crime, vandalism, nuisance, noise or other anti-social behaviour in England and Wales, and in compiling their report under this paragraph the local government representative bodies shall consult each of the licensing authorities which are members of their associations and shall, as appropriate, report on costs and effects in each licensing authority."

The noble Baroness said: I spoke about public health on the second day of the Committee when I sought to introduce "the protection of public health" as one of the licensing objectives. At that time, the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham, replied that,

    "the wider area of the protection of public health",


    "not within the scope of the Bill".

If noble Lords disagree with the protection of public health being a licensing objective, they should concede at least a review to illuminate the health effects of the changes in licensing. The Minister claimed that,

    "certain of the Bill's measures should have a positive effect on public health".—[Official Report, 17/12/02; col. 621.]

He quoted New Zealand as an example. Like New Zealand, the United Kingdom is expected to benefit from extended opening hours since binge-drinking will be reduced.

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The Minister's view strikes me as naive or over-optimistic. In this country, the culture, especially but not exclusively among the young, is to drink as much as possible until you are exceptionally drunk. The longer the hours, probably the more alcohol will be consumed. Binge-drinking will not necessarily be reduced. It will most probably be transported from 10.45 p.m. to 12.45 a.m. or whenever premises shut.

I do not need to describe to the Committee the adverse effect alcohol can have on health, not only on one's liver but of injury sustained as a direct result of alcohol consumption, including alcohol-related crime. The Bill is bound to have some effect on public health. We may share the Minister's optimism and hope that the effect is positive. No one can accurately predict the health repercussions of the Bill. It is not too much to ask the Government that we make it obligatory for the Secretary of State to publish an annual report to let us know the repercussions. The specific content of the report, which I have included in the amendment, is open to discussion. These are only suggestions about the detail that should be included. It may be an administrative burden for those in charge of collating the information and gathering the statistics, but that is not a valid reason for neglecting to monitor the effect of licensing on our nation's health. I beg to move.

5.30 p.m.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: This is a worthwhile amendment and we should consider it carefully. A lot has been said in Committee on both sides of the argument about the extent to which the changes introduced by the Bill will increase the danger of alcohol abuse. The noble Baroness talked earlier this afternoon about the pride the Government have taken and the understandable pleasure we all take in the reduction in the number of drink-driving deaths. That information could also usefully be included. I know she is concerned about a few poor village shops selling a few beers and is prepared to ignore Sainsbury's and Tesco in the mean time.

My noble friend has made an important point. We need to monitor the effects of the laws that we pass; otherwise we are working in a vacuum and will have no way of monitoring the effectiveness of our decisions.

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