HL Deb 03 November 1987 vol 489 cc979-81WA
Lord Erroll of Hale

asked Her Majesty's Governments:

Whether they will publish details of the recommendations of the Report of the Committee on Liquor Licensing which have been implemented.

The Earl of Caithness

Of the 33 recommendations formally listed as such in the summary of the report, the following have been implemented:

Under age drinking

The recommendation (paragraph 12.48) that the penalties for offences of purchasing and consuming alcohol by the under age drinker should be greater than the penalties for offences of selling to persons under age was implemented in the Criminal Law Act 1977, by virtue of which a fine of up to £400 may be imposed for offences of purchasing and consuming intoxicating liquor. The penalty for the offence of selling to persons under age is a fine not exceeeding £100.

Licensing planning areas

The committee recommended (paragraph 14.16) the repeal of Part VII of the Licensing Act 1964. All licensing planning areas have been abolished and Part VII is therefore redundant.

New Town Licensed Premises Committee

The committee recommended (paragraph 14.24) the repeal of Part VI of the Licensing Act 1964. All New Town Licensed Premises Committees have been abolished and Part VI is therefore redundant.

Compensation authorities

The recommendations (paragraph 15.23) for the repeal of the provisions of the Licensing Act 1964 relating to compensation authorities, the disposal of compensation funds and the establishment of a National Trust Fund were implemented in the Licensing (Alcohol Education and Research) Act 1981.

Licences in suspense

The committee recommended (paragraph 18.13) the repeal of Parts VIII and IX of the Licensing Act 1964 (which enable licences to be suspended because of war damage or because the premises have been compulsorily acquired for redevelopment), and the extinguishment of all licences is suspense. By an Order in Council made on 1st January 1983, all licences then in suspense under Part VIII were extinguished on 31st December 1983 and those under Part IX will be extinguished on 31st December 1987. Individual licences may, however, be extended on application to the licensing justices. Although we have moved towards the repeal of Parts VIII and IX, savings would be necessary to preserve the validity of any licences still in force.

Supply of information to HM Customs and Excise

The recommendation (paragraph 20.16) that it should cease to be a criminal offence for justices' clerks to fail to comply with the requirement to notify HM Customs and Excise of new licences granted, or refusal renewal, at licensing sessions was implemented with the repeal of Section 30(5) of the Licensing Act 1964 by the Finance Act 1983.

Occasional permissions

The committee recommended (paragraph 20.34) that licensing justices should be able to grant an occasional permission to any individual, representing a bona fide organisation, authorising the sale of intoxicating liquor on a specified day, subject to a limit of four occasional permissions in the course of a year. This recommendation was implemented by the Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983.

Police powers of entry to licensed premises

The recommendation (paragraph 20.40) that future legislation should enable police officers to enter licensed premises at any reasonable time without being required to have specific grounds for thinking that an offence has been committed was implemented by the Licensing (Amendment) Act 1977 which amended section 186 of the Licensing Act 1964.


In addition, the committee made recommendations relating to the hours of drinking; for example, that a licensee should be permitted to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises between 10 a.m. and 12 midnight (paragraph 11.40); that licensing justices should have power to make restriction orders requiring premises to close for certain periods in the public interest (paragraph 11.45); and that restaurants should be subject only to sanctions against late-night nuisance (paragraph 11.62). The Licensing (Restaurant Meals) Act 1987 now enables restaurants to serve drinks with meals throughout the day until 11.30 p.m. or midnight on weekdays and until 11.30 p.m. on Sundays; and the Licensing Bill, introduced in another place on 29th October, provides for general licensing hours of 11 a.m to 11 p.m. on weekdays with a power for the courts to grant restriction orders.