Letter from George Howarth MP, Parliamentary
Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office
I am enclosing a Home Office consultation document
about relaxing licensing hours on New Year's Eve, beginning with
the Millennium. As you will see, respondents are asked for views
on a 12 hour relaxation, or alternatively on a 5 hour relaxation.
The paper also contains proposals for enhanced protections against
premises which cause nuisance.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the Government
proposes to bring forward a deregulation order to make the changes
in licensing legislation which would be necessary.
The Government's current review of liquor licensing
legislation will be looking at the question of licensing hours
generally, and I expect that review to bring forward proposals
for primary legislation in due course. The proposals for a deregulation
order are being made in the light of representations made to us
that substantial benefits would flow from deregulating the present
system of granting late night extensions, which operate in an
inconsistent and costly manner.
9 November 1998
Memorandum from Blackpool Borough Council
The Council's Environmental Health and Public Protection
Committee debated the above proposals at their meeting on 27 January
The Committee being aware that Blackpool had some
160 places of Pubic Entertainment and approximately 3,000 premises
licensed to sell alcoholic beverages to visitors and/or residents,
believed that a 12 hour extension which would effectively permit
continuous drinking for 36 hours was unnecessary but appreciated
that the deregulation proposal was appropriate.
Accordingly they resolved to support a five hour
extension (option 3).
1 February 1999
Memorandum from the British Institute
The British Institute of Innkeeping is the professional
body for licensed retailing and represents over 17,000 professional
qualified members. In addition we are an awarding body for N/SVQs
and for our own qualifications - in 1998 we awarded over 46,000
individual qualifications. As the largest and the only national
organisation for individual licensees, we welcome this opportunity
to make our members' views on New Year's Opening Hours available
to the Government.
In order to provide the most comprehensive response
to the Government's proposals, the Institute issued a questionnaire
to 6,359 of our higher grade membership. In addition to gauging
our members' views on the proposals for New Year's Opening hours,
we extended the questionnaire in order to get as full a picture
as possible about what our members are planning for Millennium
New Year's Eve and the consequences for staff. We were delighted
to receive over 1,800 responses representing a 29 per cent. return
rate. This represents a response from approximately 3 per cent.
of all UK pubs.
We believe that this research represents the first
significant survey of this type and we enclose the full report
as it contains information which we think will be of interest
to Ministers and the Lords Committee. We will, of course, make
this information widely available to our members and to employers
in the sector and will be releasing it to the press for 15 February
1999. We would be grateful if you could treat the report as confidential
until the 15 February.
Referring to paragraph 9 in the attached report,
you will see that while 25 per cent of respondents appear to support
the status quo, nearly half of these (48 per cent.) are managers
as opposed to tenants/lessees or free trade. We believe that many
of those who supported the status quo did so because of personal
preference relating to their own pubs and there was no evidence
that they objected to deregulation.
Significantly, 67 per cent. of respondents support
deregulation with 34 per cent. supporting the all night option.
Paragraph 23 of the report shows that there is much greater support
for longer hours in the tenant/lessee and free trade sectors and
it is important to note that these are independent business people
running smaller outlets. Thus, maximum deregulation will be warmly
welcomed by these small businesses.
Paragraph 10 shows that 70 per cent. of pubs want
to remain open past midnight, 54 per cent. past 1a.m. and at least
6 per cent. past 4 a.m.
In view of the above findings, the British Institute
of Innkeeping believes that full deregulation is the best option
as it allows choice for different styles of operation. We note
that the courts will retain the provision for restriction orders
and we accept that this is desirable. However, we do urge that
licensees are given the opportunity to present their case in full
where restriction orders are being considered.
Furthermore, we note that public entertainment licences
will be considered separately by Local Authorities and we recommend
that they are encouraged to make their decisions in parallel with
any new arrangements for opening hours.
We hope that this research makes a useful contribution
to the consultation and we are happy to discuss its contents with
you further if required.
9 February 1999
Memorandum from the Free Church Council
The Free Church Council of Wales, as its meeting
in Aberystwyth on April 28th considered the Government's proposals
for making a Draft Deregulation (New Year Licensing) Order and
the request of the House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated
Powers and Deregulation for the Council's observations.
Among the members of the Council present were a retired
Circuit Judge and a retired senior police officer. The full Council,
with one abstention, resolved to convey to the Select Committee
its profound concern at the proposals and to urge upon the Government,
in the public interest, to reconsider its decision and to desist
from laying the proposed Order before Parliament.
The grounds of our concern are:-
Experience has shown that whenever and wherever facilities
for the sale and consumption of alcohol are increased, whether
in terms of place or time, there is an overall increase in the
quantity of drink consumed by individuals.
Licensing laws are based on the perceived need to
control a trade which has inherent social dangers.
The proposals, if ratified, will inevitably give
rise to an increase in drink-related crime, both in terms of violence
to the person and damage to property. This is already a major
problem in most towns in Wales, both in industrial and, latterly,
in rural parts of the country. In the last twenty years, in the
experience of the Courts and the police, this has led to most
town-centres being "no-go" areas at night and at weekends
to law abiding citizens.
To substitute for the permitted hours a 24 hour open
period will place an impossible burden on police forces, already
under-manned, and on the casualty services in hospitals and the
ambulance service which are at breaking-point, as it is, in the
peak-drinking periods at week-ends and on public holidays.
It will involve imposing substantial and unnecessary
additional costs on the public with no additional benefit to them.
It will place an immense strain on responsible licensees.
It gives the wrong signal to all and sundry in Wales
where excessive drinking is a major problem in terms of health.
Deregulation cannot but adversely affect family life
with one or even both parents taking advantage of all-night drinking
to the detriment of the children.
We note with regret and disapproval the contents
of paragraph 5 of the Explanatory Document. We must make it quite
clear to the Government that the Millennium has no significance
other than to celebrate the coming of God in the person of Jesus
Christ into the world and the division of time and history into
two distinct periods, what occurred before and what happened after
His coming. The proposals made are completely inappropriate for
this purpose and are abhorrent.
To seek to justify deregulation on the ground that
it will remove the need for licensees to apply for extended hours
and that it "would benefit the courts and the police who
have to consider ... applications" and that it will benefit
the trade and the public for there to be "more consistent
opening hours" is pitiful were it not for the fact that it
completely overlooks the immense problems created.
We note the provision for restriction orders. If
the provisions for deregulation are abandoned, as we consider
necessary for the public good, the question of restriction orders
will not arise. If, however, the Government persists in going
on with deregulation, we consider the proposals for restriction
order to be inadequate. They place an unnecessary burden, in terms
of time and costs on these making applications, whether the police,
local residents or local authorities. There is an inherent disincentive
in these proposals. Moreover anomalies are bound to arise as between
different petty sessional divisions and different local authority
We note, too, that the proposed Order is not restricted
to the Millennium but is to apply to every New Year. We have no
doubt that it will be cited as a precedent for its extension to
other public holidays.
For these reasons, the Order, as it stands, is a
bad Order on all counts and we accordingly call upon the Government
to reconsider its proposals and to desist from presenting the
Order for confirmation.
Letter from the Institute of Alcohol Studies
Liquor Licensing Deregulation. New Year's Eve Licensing
I am enclosing the submission we made to the Home
Office on the above measure and which we hope the Committee will
take into consideration. We hope that the Committees will also
take into account some additional points arising from the Government's
Explanatory Document. I am grouping these with reference to criteria
'b', 'c', and 'd' given in paragraph 6 of the Annex to the Consultation
'b' The Burden to be Removed
You will see that in our original submission we argued
that the reasons given in the Consultation Paper for introducing
the reforms in regard to the alleged burden on the counts etc.
were bogus. The Explanatory Document implicitly concedes that
our view is correct, and that the burden on the courts of granting
applications for extending hours is not, in fact, as it was described
in the Consultation Paper. Consequently, the estimated savings
for the licensed trade are now reduced from £28 million to
We regard it as a highly unsatisfactory state of
affairs that the Government's proposals for reform should be based
on information later conceded to be fundamentally incorrect, resulting
in the estimated savings being reduced by three quarters. Indeed,
the new estimate of £6.7 million is based on the assumption
that all licensed premises will seek extended hours, an assumption
which we pointed out in our submission, is very unlikely to be
We hope that the Deregulation Committees will comment
specifically on these aspects.
'c' Continue Necessary Protection
In our submission, we argued that the system of restriction
orders proposed would be inadequate to protect local communities.
The Explanatory Document gives no reason to alter this view.
More fundamentally, we also argued that extended
drinking hours were acceptable so long as the Government could
provided assurances in regard to the maintenance of public order
and the operation of public services over the holiday period.
We asked specifically for publication of the evidence on the basis
of which the Government has come to the conclusion that its proposals
will not have adverse effects.
We are naturally disappointed, therefore, that the
Explanatory Document fails completely to answer these points The
nearest it gets is making the following statement:
'Most problems are associated with all drinkers having
to leave licensed premises at the same time. By removing a single
closing time, people will not be as inclined to rush their drinking
and will be able to leave gradually when they are ready. This
should mean more civilised drinking and fewer flash points as
people leave to go home.'
We can only repeat that mere assertion is not an
argument, and that the refusal to give any hint of the supporting
evidence renders it unacceptable as a basis for rational decision
making, particularly as the statement flies in the face of what
evidence is available. We refer you to this evidence in our submission.
To those references we would add the evaluation of Safer Edinburgh
Project published by the Scottish Office (J.K. Carnie 1994). One
finding was that, contrary to the assertion above, deregulated
closing times made the policing of the city more difficult, as
the result was considerable numbers of people wandering homewards
through the city centre streets throughout the night. The random
incidents that occurred in consequence meant that police resources
became overstretched and had regularly to be diverted from the
dedicated high visibility patrolling that was intended to maintain
'e' Impose a charge on public revenues
The findings from Edinburgh and other findings cited
in our submission suggest that there is a clear danger that the
Government's proposals will result in additional costs to the
police and other public services. We assume that the Deregulation
Committees will wish to comment specifically on this aspect of
the matter, particularly as neither the Consultation Paper nor
the Explanatory Document gives any indication of the scale of
these costs or how they will be met.
Memorandum from the Institute of Alcohol
New Year's Eve Licensing Hours
Liquor Licensing Deregulation: Consultation
on New Year's Eve Licensing Hours
Response of the Institute of Alcohol Studies
1.1 The Institute of Alcohol Studies is concerned
with the prevention of alcohol-related problems and it is from
this perspective that we approach the issue of New Year's Eve
1.2 In summary, we have no objection to extended
drinking hours on the eve of the Millennium and subsequent New
Year's Eves, provided civic disruption can be avoided and public
services maintained. However, we believe that no convincing case
has been made out for the present proposals, and that it is unwise
to impose all night extensions of drinking hours on local communities.
We also doubt that the system of restriction orders proposed will
prove to be adequate.
1.3 We thus regard the Government's proposals as
being against the public interest in their present form and in
the absence of certain assurances in regard to public order and
to the operation of public services over the New Year period.
2.0 The Need for the Measure
2.1 The Consultation Paper states that tens of thousands
of licensees seek extensions to permitted hours for New Years
Eves, and that for the eve of the new Millennium virtually all
licensed outlets will apply for extended hours. The Consultation
Paper also states that processing such a large number of applications
would place a significant burden on the courts and the police
as well as on the licensed trade. We doubt both of these claims.
2.2 In regard to the supposed burden on the courts
etc., our information is that licensing committees can decide
policy on late night extensions for Christmas and New Year at
the annual licensing meeting. There is nothing to stop them granting
all night relaxations if they consider them appropriate. It is
true that individual applications for extensions must be made,
but we understand that where these conform to an already agreed
general policy, processing them is a formality which does not
amount to an undue burden. Applications can be made at any time
after the policy has been decided at the annual licensing meeting:
there is no need for all applications to be made at the last minute.
Any burden on the licensed trade is presumably small compared
with the benefits of being granted extended hours.
2.3 As the reasons for the measure given in the Consultation
Paper are clearly bogus, we conclude, therefore, that in reality
the Government is motivated not by a wish to ease an administrative
burden but, rather, to deny local licensing committees discretion
in the granting of all night relaxations. Presumably, this is
out of fear that some committees at least may not consider them
desirable. In our view, it would be greatly preferable for the
Government to be honest about this and to give their reasons for
wishing to deny discretion to licensing committees.
2.4 Secondly, and ironically in view of the above,
it is by no means certain that virtually all licensed outlets
will seek all night extensions for Millennium Eve. There are reports
that 'crippling staff costs and the threat of damage by drunken
revellers' may mean that some large brewers and other retailers
intend to keep their premises closed on 31 December/1 January,
while other premises will close before midnight.
Moreover, as the closure of a significant proportion of licensed
premises would probably put extra pressures (crowding, for example)
on those that are open and to cause additional problems on the
streets, it is even more important, in our view, that through
licensing committees, local communities retain control of the
situation, greater control than will be allowed by a system of
3.0 The Main Issues
3.1 We are concerned that the Government's proposals,
particularly its preferred option of a 36 hour drinking binge
from 11am 31 December, may have significant adverse effects on
public order and on public services which are unlikely to be adequately
controlled by a system of restriction orders.
3.2 Contrary to the mythology presently being constructed
by the media, vested interests and some politicians, there is
much evidence to suggest that extended or de-regulated nighttime
drinking hours are by no means wholly benign but, rather, that
they tend to increase crime, disorder and related problems, or
at least to increase the difficulties of dealing with such problems
at times when police and other public services' resources are
at their most scarce. These problems can be considerably more
serious than the 'noise and nuisance' referred to in the Consultation
3.3 In New Zealand, de-regulated closing times resulted
in increased alcohol problems, especially in town and city centres.
In the evaluation report, police reported more arrests of drink
drivers in early daylight hours following later drinking hours,
and they complained that staffing levels were no longer sufficient
to police the late hours, alcohol problems taking them away from
other work, especially between 12 am - 4 am when they were having
to deal with town centre drunks instead of dealing with a spate
3.4 In Perth, Australia, extending nighttime drinking
hours was followed by violent and sexual assaults more than doubling
in and near late night trading hotels and clubs, compared to outlets
keeping normal hours, and late night trading postponed or delayed
alcohol related violence, road crashes and other accidents until
after midnight when police and emergency services were more expensive
and less able to cope with the increased demand.
3.5 It was similar patterns of social disturbance
in Scotland, following de facto de-regulation of closing times,
that prompted the Scottish Office to demand better control of
extended drinking hours in the late 1980's. The circular sent
to the licensing boards stated.
'From recent representations to the Secretary of
State it is clear that, in a number of licensing board areas,
the proliferation of regular late night extensions is causing
difficulty and distress to local residents and to police in the
maintenance of order in the early hours of the morning out of
all proportion to any benefit the community may derive from the
grant of such extensions.'
3.6 We are concerned that, barring the inadequate
references to 'noise and nuisance' and restriction orders, this
whole aspect of the issue is completely ignored in the Consultation
Paper. Certainly, no grounds whatever are provided for believing
that previous experience in the UK and elsewhere will not be repeated,
and that 36 hours continuous drinking hours will not have adverse
4.0 The Impact on Public Services
4.1 A particular cause of concern is the absence
of any discussion in the Consultation Paper of the likely impact
of extended drinking hours on public services. Indeed, the Consultation
Paper only mentions one public service, the police, in relation
to which it implies that the effects of the proposed changes will
be wholly beneficial in regard to staff time and other resources.
4.2 Yet it seems inevitable that police resources
are going to be stretched to the limit on the Eve of the Millennium.
The Home Secretary himself has stated that 'All the problems of
policing a typical New Year's Eve are likely to be multiplied
several times' and that 'New Year's Eve 1999 will test police
forces to the full'. He continued: 'Not only will police have
to fully prepare to cope with official and unofficial celebrations
taking place over the Millennium, but (in view of the 'Millennium
Bug') the police have an important challenge to make sure their
own computer systems and telecommunications systems continue to
4.3 In regard to police resources, it is reported
that the Millennium Eve overtime bill for the Metropolitan Police
alone is expected to be £12 million.
This, presumably, is hugely more than the financial savings derived
from not having to deal individually with each application for
extended drinking hours.
4.4 Similar considerations apply to the hospital
service, accident and emergency departments in particular. The
burden of alcohol (and other drug) abuse on A & E departments
is already large and disruptive in normal circumstances, especially
at nights and at weekends. Concern has already been expressed
by the NHS Executive that any problems caused by the Millennium
Bug will occur when the NHS is also struggling to cope with staff
shortages, these problems being 'compounded by the fact that managers
believe the NHS will face unprecedented pressures and demand over
the (Millennium Eve) holiday period.'
4.5 There is also the matter of public transport.
This, too, may experience problems caused by the Millennium Bug
and staff shortages, and to the extent that it does, hundreds
or thousands of revellers celebrating Millennium Eve will, presumably,
be left either wandering the streets on foot or getting into their
cars: either eventuality could have serious implications for law
and order and road safety.
4.6 We make no claims to be able to forecast the
future. We can only comment that the dangers of public services
being stretched to breaking point are obvious and we are astonished
that the Consultation Paper ignores them totally.
5.0 Restriction Orders
5.1 The nearest the Consultation Paper gets to discussing
these issues is in the section 'Necessary protection', which includes
the proposal to provide a system of restriction orders.
5.2 Unfortunately, the social ills against which
restriction orders are seen as a protection are defined far too
narrowly in terms of noise and disturbance to local residents
living in the immediate vicinity of individual licensed premises.
It is possible that restriction orders may help to prevent problems
of that kind, but it is difficult to see how they would provide
a solution to the broader problems of civic disruption, possibly
involving thousands of people milling around town and city centres,
including non-residential areas. The precise locations of any
social disturbances arising in such circumstances are unlikely
to be wholly predictable in advance and also unlikely to be related
exclusively to one individual licensed outlet.
5.3 Clearly, therefore, what is required is that
the licensing justices be encouraged to operate a policy in relation
to late night opening for whole areas such as town centres and
the access routes to them. We do not see any great force in the
objection that this could result in varying closing times in different
parts of the country. In the first place, different areas do have
different needs. Secondly, retailers¹ decisions and the operation
of market forces mean that there will be some variations in any
case, irrespective of how the law is changed.
6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 Our view is that there is a perfectly good case
for extended drinking hours on Millennium Eve and subsequent New
Year's Eves. We are concerned, however, that there is considerable
evidence that greatly extended drinking hours can jeopardise public
order, public safety and public services, and that social protection
needs therefore to be maintained.
6.2 For this reason, we believe that it is preferable
that extended drinking hours continue to be seen as a privilege
rather than a right, and are granted by those with direct knowledge
of local needs and circumstances. In view of the fact that the
Government is now seeking to impose 36 hours continuous drinking
hours we believe, that the Government is under an obligation to
provide assurances that these dangers will not in the event be
6.3 Presumably, the Government is convinced that
its proposals will not result, for example, in additional disturbances
on the streets or seriously ill people not being cared for properly
in Accident and Emergency Departments because of intoxicated (and
often abusive) revellers putting undue strain on the system. It
would clearly be helpful for the Government to publish the information,
evidence and advice on which it has arrived at these confident
conclusions. In view of the possible impact on the health service,
this should be done by means of statements by the Secretary of
State for Health as well as the Home Secretary.
6.4 Even with such assurances, however, we do not
believe that the proposed system of restriction orders will be
adequate to control the potential problems. For the reasons given
above, we believe that the licensing justices should be enabled
to take a 'zonal' approach to late night extensions, and should
not be wholly dependent on local residents anticipating noise
and disturbance from individual pubs and clubs. We believe a stake
holder approach should be employed. Helping to make proper arrangements
for extended drinking hours on New Year's Eves should be one of
the tasks of the local partnerships against crime that the Government
is commendably promoting, but which are ignored totally in the
present proposals. We also believe that NHS Health Trusts should
be able to have their views taken into account by the licensing
6.5 For these reasons, we believe that the present
arrangements (Option 1) are the most appropriate, perhaps with
some modification to facilitate the local community-based approach
Memorandum from The Lord's Day Fellowship
We have met in Swansea (May 7th) to discuss your
letter of 22nd April and we oppose completely, as the Lord's Day
Fellowship in Wales the proposals. We feel that it is irresponsible
for a Government, in view of the social problem created by alcohol,
to allow on-licensed premises and registered clubs to sell alcohol
uninterrupted from the start of permitted hours on New Year's
Eve until the end of permitted hours on New Year's Day. We feel
strongly that the whole matter is dictated by selfish reasons
and it seriously undermines our witness as Christian Churches
and we believe that this permission should not be given for it
infringes on the freedom and the life of homes and families who
live near the clubs and the public houses.
We believe strongly that permission should not be
given for this extended period of thirty six hours. After all
we have as a Fellowship a long tradition of safeguarding the best
traditions of Wales, and for decades all the premises were closed
in Wales on a Sunday. Wales has not benefited socially, religiously
or as a nation since we have undermined that tradition, and this
is still our standpoint.
15 May 1999
Memorandum from the National United Temperance
On behalf of this Council I have been asked to respond
to the Government's Liquor Licensing Deregulation consultation
- The members would be grateful if you would consider
the following comments in response to the items proposed under
"Annex" clause 6.
- The burden will be increased on Police and Emergency
services. It is unrealistic to think that longer opening hours
will dilute the incidence of accidents or nuisance. The likelihood
is that with undiminished intensity, they will be experienced
over a longer period.
- The present protection to the public will be
diminished. Hitherto the police and magistrates have provided
this by considering the grant of extended hours, and the onus
of applying has been on the licensees. That protection has been
removed, and residents would have to seek protection themselves,
by applying to the courts. This would put expense upon individuals,
rather than those seeking to benefit from the longer opening hours.
Further, the nuisance can hardly be proved before
the event, making such applications, in consequence, of little
- The committee of our Council represents Temperance
Societies throughout the United Kingdom, and opposition to the
longer opening hours, either five or twelve, is widespread.
- The extra costs mentioned under (B) above would
fall upon the Public Revenues or the Exchequer.
- The proposals take no account of legislation
in other European countries, where there are local alcohol limits
for...and where random breath tests are permitted.
In view of these comments it is the sincere wish
of this Council, that there shall be no alteration in the situation
for opening licensed premises, and the granting of liquor licences
for New Year Eve 1999 or in any subsequent New Year's Eve.
22 January 1999
Memorandum from Tameside Metropolitan
The Environment Committee considered the consultation
document on the New Year's Eve licensing hours on the 16th February
The Committee resolved to support option 2 - to relax
the licensing hours for 12 hours.
I would be grateful if you could consider the Council's
views when the New Year's Eve licensing hours are discussed.
18 February 1999
Memorandum from the UK National Committee
for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependency
Our Committee has debated your deregulation proposal
and has asked me to respond as follows.
We note that the proposals are a serious departure
from the present licensing arrangements and we regret that the
options proposed do not allow for a limiting of licensing rather
than a relaxation of current licensing arrangements.
Since the deregulation proposal has been based on
cost saving to magistrates, police and the licensed trade we feel
that the deregulation proposals far from achieving their aims
may well have the effect of escalating costs for the following
reasons which we urge you to consider:
1. The costs saved in one sector of the justice system
will be shifted to other sectors as a result of drink related
offences and are likely to be increased.
2. Police costs will also be shifted and increased
for the same reasons with additional costs accruing from the cancellation
of police leave.
3. Costs to the NHS and voluntary support bodies
on stand-by for the occasion will increase and produce a burden
on the health-care system. The recent seasonal outbreak of flu
has demonstrated that the service has proved barely adequate to
meet crisis situations; these may coincide with prevailing adverse
winter weather factors.
4. One sector of the drinks industry (JD Wetherspoon
PLC) has already announced that it will close its public houses
over the millennial new year's eve due to the high cost of servicing
the overtime. Clearly then, extended drinking hours are no automatic
saving of cost to the leisure industry.
We are concerned that public nuisance problems by
their nature can only be complained off restrospectively, and
that the mechanism of complaint will not be well known by the
general public who will have to shoulder both the nuisance and
the cost of complaint
A general short-coming in the proposal is that there
is no national assessment mechanism before subsequent deregulation
in respect of future new year's eves.
Furthermore, we do not read in the proposals that
any special measures will be adopted to protect the public from
the consequences of prolonged alcohol use. Such measures might
include lowering the blood alcohol level to 50mg/ml and conducting
random breath testing. Our Committee is also concerned that pedestrians
and workers might be at risk and cause of risk due to prolonged
alcohol use. Our comments are relevant to subsequent new year
proposals or other, as yet unspecified, national celebratory occasions.
The Committee has no object to the attribution of
the above points in your discussions. Thank you for your consideration
of these points raised.
1 February 1999
Memorandum from the UK Noise Network
HM Home Office (HMHO) Consultation/Deregulation exercise
concerning New Year Licensing Regulations appears to offer only
two options for change, both involving sweeping changes to the
2. RESPONSES PARA 26:
The UK Noise Network, therefore, responds NO to Qi
and NO to Qii.
3. GROUNDS FOR OBJECTION
The UK Noise Network (hereafter TNN) strongly objects
to options one and two on the grounds that the proposals are seriously
defective in their present form. The proposals are ill thought
through involving fundamental changes which are likely to militate
against existing HMG Policies, or lead to HMG Policy conflict:-
(a) HMG Policy objectives seek to reduce neighbourhood
crime and fear, improve residential amenity, improve public health
and promote health awareness in order to secure an improved quality
of life and reduce health care costs to the UK State.
(b) HMP Policy objectives seek to promote health
and safety at work, including citizens who MUST work during anti
social hours in responsible occupations irrespective of time
of day/night or festive season.
(c) Changed circumstances: Clear evidence exists
indicating a declining interest in Night-Clubs, and increasing
interest in Public Houses, particularly those with entertainment
(d) Public health attitudes and beliefs
are also material considerations in the HMHO proposals. Many citizens
WILL suffer a serious diminution in their residential amenity
from such sweeping changes, which are likely to impact upon their
(e) The police are unlikely to become involved
in noisy behaviour on licensed premises. These proposals take
no account that complaint enforcement costs will be chiefly borne
by local authorities (LA) not the police.
(f) LA Public Health Authorities, however, have
a poor record in controlling noise in the community, providing
no guarantee whatsoever that citizens subjected to serious nuisance
will be protected. It appears unrealistic and unreasonable to
shift the burden of "policing" the liquor industry
to individuals or small groups of ordinary citizens (so often
poor, disadvantaged, sick or elderly) who are likely to be quite
incapable of opposing "incivilities" and environmental
harm via the local courts.
Annex 1 (enc extract National society for Clean Air
& Environmental Protection [NSCA] Paper) clearly identifies
many (not all) licensed premises as a major source of complaint
(environmental variables). They are, therefore, often a very serious
"environmental stress or
(g) in local communities and must be dealt with
as such. A crucial factor in the foregoing is the citizens need
for the "health restorative processes of undisturbed sleep".
(World Health Organisation Report 1995).
(h) Other citizens working in the industry will
be required to work long hours whilst subjected to very high levels
of noise or other forms of pollution. All the foregoing impact
upon HMG Policy The Health of the Nation leading to interdepartmental
4. EXPLANATORY STATEMENT: HMG HEALTH OF THE NATION
- Manifestly, the competence of the Home Office
to deal with the substance of TNN objection is questionable. however,
The Health of the Nation Policy may prove to be at the
very heart of this matter.
- Noise, Sub Clinical and Clinical Stress: It is
incontrovertible that any organism (including mankind) may only
flourish within prescribed environmental parameters (the homeostatic
processes), beyond which the organism will sicken and may die
(see research by Claude Bernard, Hans Seyle et al). The foregoing
clearly sets out the nexus between the internal milieu, the physical
(external) and the cultural environments. TNN has consistently
advised HMG (DETR) that noise related "stress" makes
TNN concludes that the dawn of millennium year 2000 is clearly
a very special case, and that it is wholly reasonable to
deal with it as such.
TNN, however, concludes that HMHO "blanket"
proposals for permanent change are ill thought through and militate
against the wider public interest. The Home Office has manifestly
failed to balance the acknowledged economic or self serving interests
of the liquor trade and its customers against the public interest,
local environmental variables (amenity), health and local authority
TNN urges HMHO (and the DETR) to continue to rely
on present arrangements.
9 February 1999
Memorandum from the United Reformed Church
- Wales Province
You wrote on 22nd April to Mr John Rhys, asking for
views on the proposal for the Draft Deregulation (New Year Licensing)
Order 1999. I have now succeeded John Rhys as Synod Clerk to the
United Reformed Church in Wales, and am therefore replying to
We are aware that the provisions of this proposal
have been given wide publicity and, it seems to us, have been
generally received with acceptance if not enthusiasm. We as a
body would not therefore wish to submit evidence or written views
at this stage.
13 May 1999
Memorandum from the Wales Tourist Board
I refer to your letter dated 22 April 1999 regarding
proposals for the uninterrupted sale of alcohol from the start
of permitted hours on New Year's Eve until the end of permitted
hours on New Year's Day. We understand this would apply to on-licensed
premises and registered clubs.
The Wales Tourist Board is generally supportive of
proposals to extend licensing hours. We supported the proposals
for an extension of permitted hours on Friday and Saturday nights
(Home Office consultation May 1996).
In 1995, the Wales Tourist Board reaffirmed its support
for reforms to the liquor licensing system, welcoming the concept
of 'cafe' style licences and advocating that polls for Sunday
opening in Wales should cease.
The current proposals for New Year are in line with
the Board's stated position regarding more flexible arrangements
for the sale of alcohol and we offer our support.
7 May 1999
Memorandum from the Welsh Local Government
I am pleased to be able to respond with the views
of local authorities in Wales on the proposals for the draft Deregulation
(New Year Licensing ) Order 1999.
The majority of local authorities in Wales would
have preferred a shorter extension to the operating hours. Concern
has been voiced over the workload, resource implications and costs
that are anticipated from considering applications for extensions
to Public Entertainment Licences. It is appreciated, however,
that eventually this could be incorporated into the annual licences.
Due to possible noise and disturbance, local authorities
are pleased to note that the entertainment hours associated with
public entertainment licences are not automatically being extended
with the liquor hours.
Many liquor licensed premises are situated in residential
areas and local authorities are concerned that they will need
restriction orders to restrict the operating times of these premises.
Local authorities are pleased to see that they will be able to
apply for restriction orders to assist residents. However, it
will result in considerable workload and expense in collating
and applying for restriction orders in time for this Millennium
Eve if it is not to result in disturbance of or annoyance to persons
living in the neighbourhood of these premises.
I trust that you will be able to take the Association's
comments into account.
10 May 1999
18 Information supplied by clerks and justices for
a number of petty sessional divisions. Back
Cheers! The Millennium's Off. The Observer 10/1/99. Back
L Hill and L Stewart: The Sale of Liquor Act 1989: Local Perspectives.
Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit. Auckland, New Zealand
T Chikritzis and T Stockwell. Evaluation of the Public Health
and Safety Impact of Extended Trading permits for Perth Hotels
and Night-clubs. The National Centre for Research into the Prevention
of Drug Abuse. Curtin University of Technology. Back
Circular Number SHHD20/1988. Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 Section
64(3) Regular Extension of Permitted Hours. Back
Police must be ready for the Millennium. Home Secretary. Home
Office Press Release. 005/99 8th January 1999. Back
Cheers! The Millennium's Off. The Observer 10/1/99. Back
Millennium Bug Bites NHS Staff BBC News 7th January 1999. Back