§ POWERS TO IMPROVE ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
§ Explanation of suggested remedial action
§ 1.—(1) This paragraph confers power to provide that, where an enforcement officer expresses to any person any opinion as to what remedial action should be taken by that person, then, if that person so requests, the officer—
- (a) shall as soon as practicable give to him a written notice which satisfies the requirements of sub-paragraph (2) below; and
- (b) shall not take any enforcement action against him until after the end of such period beginning with the giving of the notice as may be determined by or under the order.
§ (2) A notice satisfies the requirements of this sub-paragraph if it—
- (a) states the nature of the remedial action which in the officer's opinion should be taken, and explains why and within what period;
- (b) explains what constitutes the failure to observe the restriction or to comply with the requirement or condition; and
- (c) states the nature of the enforcement action which could be taken and states whether there is a right to make representations before, or a right of appeal against, the taking of such action.
§ Explanation of immediate enforcement action etc.
§ 2.—(1) This paragraph confers power to provide that, where an enforcement officer—
- (a) takes immediate enforcement action against any person; or
- (b) requires any person to take immediate remedial action,
§ (2) The power conferred by this paragraph shall not be exercisable unless the restriction, requirement or condition is such that observance of or compliance with it would be likely to involve expenditure of a significant amount.
§ Right to make representations
§ 3. This paragraph confers power to provide that, before an enforcement officer takes any enforcement action against any person, the officer—
- (a) shall give to that person a written notice stating—
- (i) that he is considering taking the action and the reasons why he is considering it; and
- (ii) that the person may, within a period specified in the notice, make written representations to him or, if the person so requests, make oral representations to him in the presence of a person determined by or under the order; and
- (b) shall consider any representations which are duly made and not withdrawn.
§ Explanation of right of appeal
§ 4. This paragraph confers power to provide that, where—
- (a) an enforcement officer has taken enforcement action against any person; and
- (b) the relevant enactment contains any provision conferring a right of appeal against such action,
§ Application of provisions to other interested persons
§ 5.—(1) This paragraph confers power to provide that, where—
- (a) a third person will or may be required to meet or make a significant contribution towards the cost of observing the restriction or complying with the requirement or condition; or
- (b) the enforcement action which may be or has been taken specifically relates to goods or services which are to be or have been supplied by a third person,
(2) In this paragraph—
relevant provision" means any provision made by virtue of paragraphs 1 to 4 above or any provision of the relevant enactment which is to the like effect;
third person" means any person other than the one against whom enforcement action may be or has been taken.").
§ On Question, amendment agreed to.
§ [Amendment No. 23 not moved.]
Earl Ferrers moved Amendment No. 24:
After Clause 15, insert the following new clause:
§ Licensed premises at international ports: permitted hours
§ "International ports.
§ 86A.—(1) At a port where this section is in operation section 59 of this Act shall not apply to licensed premises within an approved wharf.
§ (2) The Secretary of State may by order bring this section into operation at any port which appears to him to be one at which there is a substantial amount of international passenger traffic.
§ (3) Before the Secretary of State makes an order bringing this section into operation at a port, he shall satisfy himself that arrangements have been made for affording reasonable facilities on licensed premises within any approved wharf at that port for obtaining hot and cold beverages other than intoxicating liquor at all times when intoxicating liquor is obtainable on those premises.
§ (4) If it appears to the Secretary of State that at any port where this section is in operation such arrangements as are mentioned in subsection (3) of this section are not being maintained, he shall revoke the order bringing this section into operation at that port, but without prejudice to his power of making a further order with respect to that port.887
§ "Exemption of international ports from restrictions on permitted hours.
§ 63 A.—(1) The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument bring this section into operation at any port which appears to him to be a port at which there is a substantial amount of international passenger traffic.
§ (2) At a port where this section is in operation, neither section 54 nor section 119 of this Act nor any provision or rule of law prohibiting or restricting the sale or supply of alcoholic liquor on Sunday shall apply to licensed premises which are within an approved wharf.
§ (3) Before the Secretary of State makes an order bringing this section into operation at a port, he shall satisfy himself that arrangements have been made for affording reasonable facilities in licensed premises within any approved wharf at that port for obtaining hot and cold beverages other than alcoholic liquor at all times when alcoholic liquor is obtainable for consumption in those premises.
§ (4) If it appears to the Secretary of State that at any port where this section is in operation such arrangements as are mentioned in subsection (3) above are not being maintained, he shall revoke the order bringing this section into operation as respects that port, but without prejudice to his power of making a further order with respect to that port.
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 58, 61 and 92.
§ This new clause deals primarily with the application of the licensing laws at international seaports. Our intention is to ensure that international seaports benefit from the same exemption from the licensing laws as airports and hoverports as regards the sale of duty paid and duty free alcohol. In bringing forward this new clause, I must express my thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Peston, who, as your Lordships will recall, tabled a similar amendment in Committee.
§ The background to this new clause is, briefly, that high speed catamarans—known as SeaCats—are hampered in providing on-board duty free facilities because of space constraints and, in the case of their Dover-Calais route, the duration of the journey, which is an advertised time of 35 minutes compared with one-and-a-quarter hours for conventional ferries.
§ Conventional ferries are of course able to offer comprehensive on-board duty free facilities around the clock, since they are exempt from the normal licensing hours. As your Lordships will understand, the availability of duty free alcohol is an important factor in deciding which method of transport to use in order to cross the Channel. SeaCats have tried to compete by opening duty free shops at their port-side terminals, but the licensing hours are such that those shops cannot open on weekday mornings or on Sunday afternoons.
§ Exemptions from licensing hours are already granted by the Secretary of State for Transport to airports and hoverports in recognition of the number of flights 888 outside normal licensing hours. At present, such order-making powers do not exist for international seaports.
§ This new clause would provide an order-making power to the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of seaports similar to that available for airports and hoverports. That will allow SeaCat terminals to offer comprehensive duty free facilities at the convenience of the passengers, regardless of the time of sailing. It will, therefore, permit the operators of SeaCats to compete on an equal footing with the operators of conventional ferries.
§ This amendment is a useful deregulatory change to the law which will regularise the position across transport modes and as such I commend it to your Lordships. I beg to move.
§ Lord Peston
My Lords, at Question Time today, the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, described me as being "spiky". I am certainly not spiky with regard to the amendments to which he is now speaking because they correspond with the amendments which I tabled in Committee, although they are an improvement on them. The noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, said that he would respond sympathetically to the amendments and I should have realised that with his provenance, something about Scotland would appear as the improvement. That is certainly an improvement and I am grateful to the noble Earl and to his department for bringing forward the amendments.
I only wish that with regard to the Bill, we could have found more examples about which to co-operate rather than having the constant wrangling with each other, but that is by the way. This is a good set of amendments. I support them wholeheartedly.
I hope that once the order-making power is available to the Secretary of State, he will use it so that the SeaCats will be able to compete fairly with all other modes of transport. I assume that he will use the power immediately because it makes no sense not to do so. I support the amendments.
My Lords, nothing gives me more pleasure at the end of the day than to find that the noble Lord, Lord Peston, who started off the day by being spiky, has ended up by being happy and content. We have taken his advice and followed his suggestions. We should not have brought forward the amendment if we did not intend to make use of it. With that happy thought, I commend the amendment to your Lordships.
§ On Question, amendment agreed to.
§ Moved accordingly and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at ten minutes before eight o'clock.