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Licensing Act

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many licences for public houses in (a) rural and (b) urban areas were not renewed in each year from 1997. (86712)

Information on the renewal of licences held by public houses in the years prior to the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) is not held centrally. There is no renewal process for licences issued under the 2003 Act.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the likely impact of a change in the fee structure for premises licences under the Licensing Act 2003 on businesses which have already paid their renewal fees for their premises licence; and if she will make a statement. (87119)

The Independent Fees Review Panel, chaired by Sir Les Elton, is considering the fee levels and structure and their impact on fee payers and local authorities. We will consider carefully any recommendations that the Panel makes when it reports to Ministers in the autumn.

We have no existing plans to change the fee structure, although we have agreed in principle that there should be a single date for the annual fee. However, before we can set a single date, we will need to consider and consult on transitional arrangements and the options for which date to adopt. Licence holders will be given notice before new arrangements are brought in and should, in the meantime, continue to pay their annual fee on the anniversary of the grant of the licence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the number of premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 which have paid their renewal fees for their premises licence since February; and if she will make a statement. (87120)

There is no renewal process for licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003, although an annual fee is paid on the anniversary of the grant of the licence. We have not made any estimate about the number of licence holders who have paid annual fees. However, as most applications to convert licences to the new regime were made near the end of the period for converting licences in July and August last year, it is likely that the majority of annual fees will not be due until the autumn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism last met representatives of (a) the licensed trade, (b) local authorities, (c) residents’ groups, (d) magistrates, (e) police officers, (f) village hall associations, (g) sports clubs, (h) performing arts, (i) the tourism industry, (j) fire services and (k) the retail sector to discuss the Licensing Act 2003 and related legislation; and if she will make a statement. (87121)

Since May 2006, I have held several internal meetings on the Licensing Act and have met with the Chair of the Independent Fees review panel. I have met, along with Home Office colleagues, representatives of the licensed trade on 15 May and representatives from local authorities and the police on 24 May.

I am planning to hold a series of stakeholder meetings in the autumn.