The government’s consultation proposes changes to the Licensing Act of 2003, which governs the sale of alcohol and the provision of entertainment and late-night refreshment in England and Wales.
One of the main proposals is to give local authorities more powers to regulate the night-time economy, particularly in areas where there are high levels of crime and disorder. This could include the introduction of a “night-time levy” to fund extra police patrols and other measures to keep people safe.
Another proposal is to allow more flexibility for businesses when it comes to opening hours. Currently, premises can apply for a licence to open until 11pm or 12am, depending on their location. The consultation suggests that this could be extended to allow businesses to apply for later licences, potentially up until 4am.
However, this would be subject to conditions such as ensuring that the premises are not causing a nuisance to local residents, and that there are adequate measures in place to prevent crime and disorder.
The consultation also proposes changes to the licensing regime for events such as festivals and concerts, to make it easier for organisers to obtain licences and for local authorities to regulate them.
Overall, the proposals aim to strike a balance between allowing businesses to thrive and ensuring that the night-time economy is safe and well-regulated. The consultation is open until May 2023, and businesses and members of the public are encouraged to have their say on the proposed changes.
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