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Public Houses: Closures

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps his Department has taken to assist public houses facing closure. (319608)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) continues to be the lead voice in Whitehall on the importance to the economy of the whole hospitality industry, including public houses, and for licensing policy. In particular, the Licensing Act 2003 and subsequent simplifications of its processes have produced savings in administrative burdens of about £99 million annually since the Act came into force in November 2005.

The Prime Minister has recently appointed my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Housing and Planning to head a task force of five Ministers to champion public houses in their role as the hubs of their communities. The Department for Communities and Local Government is co-ordinating relevant work with the DCMS, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.