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Travelling Circuses

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

8. What progress has been made in discussions between his Department, the local authorities committee on regulatory services and representatives of the circus industry on reform of the licensing regime for travelling circuses; and if he will make a statement. (318858)

We have convened a working group of stakeholders, which includes local government and circus representatives, to develop options for what is called a portable licence for travelling circuses. The group met on 23 February and hopes to conclude its work by late spring, after which there will be a public consultation on possible options.

I hope that the Minister will pass to her colleague the Under-Secretary my gratitude for this progress—perhaps belated progress, but progress none the less—that is being made. If I may take a liberty, may I adapt her party’s election slogan and say that if she keeps up momentum, we might be able to look forward to a future circus for all?

I note what the hon. Gentleman has said and I congratulate him, because he has taken a close interest in these matters. I think that his lobbying has finally been successful. I know that the group is meeting again at the end of March and I hope that the consultation will then be produced immediately after the election and that the new regulations can be brought into force quickly.