Letter from Business in Sport and Leisure
Business In Sport and Leisure (BISL) is an umbrella
organisation that represents nearly 100 private sector companies
in the sport and leisure industry. Its members include most of
the major operators of commercial leisure in the UK and many consultants
who specialise in this field. Many of its members operate nightclubs,
casinos, other premises with a Special Hours Certificate and Restaurants
with an Extended Hours Order. Members of BISL who are listed on
the London Stock Exchange have a combined market capitalisation
in excess of £45 billion. A full list of our members is given
at Annex A.
Business In Sport and Leisure has throughout its
existence been behind a change in the Sunday Observance Act 1780.
It was at our Annual Conference in November 1994 that Michael
Forsyth, then the Minster in the Home Office promised "Dancing
in the Streets".
BISL believes that the current law is an unjustified
restraint on business and should be changed. We believe this in
the light of all other changes made to the law relating to Sundays,
particularly with permission given for shopping, paying to watch
football and other sporting events, allowing cinemas to open and
permitting horse racing on Sundays and cash betting. This change
in the law would not only benefit our members who operate facilities
affected by the current law, but also benefit tourists to this
country who find it very difficult to understand why they cannot
buy a drink on Sundays after 10.30 p.m. The change in the law
would also be of great benefit to the organisers of charitable
events on Sundays and to organisers of many more local dances
This year New Year's Eve falls on a Sunday. It is
particularly important that the law is changed before this date.
Please find attached a copy of the evidence we submitted
to the Home Office in response to their consultation document.
BISL would be very happy to give further oral evidence to the
Committee if this is considered desirable.[printed]
I look forward to hearing from you.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive
2 February 2000