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Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department provides guidance on whether hon. Members and district councillors are included in the definition of ‘interested parties’ or ‘responsible authorities’ in section 13 of the Licensing Act 2003 and in the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005. (301073)

The Licensing Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) and associated guidance issued by the Secretary of State and by my Department sets out the individuals or bodies that are interested parties and responsible authorities under the 2003 Act. Members of Parliament and district councillors are not responsible authorities under the 2003 Act and, currently, are interested parties only if they live, or operate a business, in the vicinity of the premises. In addition, if requested to do so, they can make representations on behalf of a resident or a business who themselves is an interested party under the 2003 Act.

In recognition of the important role that local authorities play in co-ordinating efforts to manage local alcohol related problems, the Policing and Crime Act 2009 includes a provision which, when in force, will make local councillors interested parties under the 2003 Act and therefore able to make representations on licence applications and seek licence reviews in their own right as councillors.