The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Chair: † Dr Rupa Huq
† Berry, Jake (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con)
Betts, Mr Clive (Sheffield South East) (Lab)
† Brine, Steve (Winchester) (Con)
† Bristow, Paul (Peterborough) (Con)
† Byrne, Ian (Liverpool, West Derby) (Lab)
Crouch, Tracey (Chatham and Aylesford) (Con)
Eagle, Maria (Garston and Halewood) (Lab)
† Elmore, Chris (Ogmore) (Lab)
† Foster, Kevin (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department)
† Henry, Darren (Broxtowe) (Con)
† Holmes, Paul (Eastleigh) (Con)
† Jones, Andrew (Harrogate and Knaresborough) (Con)
Lewis, Clive (Norwich South) (Lab)
† Lynch, Holly (Halifax) (Lab)
† Mann, Scott (North Cornwall) (Con)
† Marson, Julie (Hertford and Stortford) (Con)
Morden, Jessica (Newport East) (Lab)
Seb Newman, Committee Clerk
† attended the Committee
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee
Monday 25 April 2022
[Dr Rupa Huq in the Chair]
Draft Licensing Act 2003 (Platinum Jubilee Licensing Hours) Order 2022
I beg to move,
That the Committee has considered the draft Licensing Act 2003 (Platinum Jubilee Licensing Hours) Order 2022.
It is a pleasure, as always, to serve under your chairmanship, Dr Huq.
The platinum jubilee is a momentous milestone and I am sure that many people—perhaps including members of the Committee—will want to raise a glass in recognition of Her Majesty’s enormous contribution to our country. Under section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003, the Secretary of State can make an order relaxing licensing hours to mark occasions of “exceptional national significance”. I think we would all agree that the platinum jubilee is without doubt such an occasion.
The Home Office conducted a public consultation to seek the views of the public, and the majority of responses were in favour of the licensing extension, agreeing with the duration and location put to the Committee. The draft order, therefore, is to extend licensing hours in England and Wales on Thursday 2 June, Friday 3 June and Saturday 4 June, until 1 am the following morning.
The extension will apply to premises licences and club premises certificates in England and Wales, which license the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises. Those premises will be allowed to remain open without having to notify the licensing authority and police via a temporary event notice. The draft order will permit premises licensed to provide regulated entertainment to open until 1 am on the nights that it covers, even where those premises are not licensed to sell alcohol.
Following from the consultation, however, the Government agreed with the majority of respondents that the draft order should not extend to premises that sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, such as off-licences and supermarkets. Premises that provide “late night refreshment”, which is the supply of hot food or hot drinks to the public between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am, but that do not sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, will not be covered. Such premises will be able to provide late night refreshment until 1 am only if their existing licence already permits that.
I hope that the whole Committee will stand together in support of the extension of licensing hours to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s platinum jubilee and ensure that it is the event that it deserves to be. I commend the draft order to the Committee.
It is a real pleasure to serve under you as Chair, Dr Huq.
Members will be pleased to hear that I do not intend to detain the Committee for long. Unusual as this is, I am in full agreement with the Minister on this occasion. The draft order is an amendment to the Licensing Act that will allow licensed premises to continue to sell alcohol, offer entertainment and serve late night refreshment for longer than usual on the extended bank holiday. We are happy to support it, not least in Halifax, where plans for celebrations are well under way right across the borough.
I have had the pleasure of being involved in the celebrations planned for our magnificent Piece Hall, which involve, as part of the jubilee festivities, a special day to give thanks to our emergency services as defenders of the Queen’s peace. I encourage others to consider doing the same in their respective patches. As we all know, however, the main focus of the jubilee weekend is the opportunity to bring communities together to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee: 70 years of service. She has served this country with humility and understated determination for 70 years.
The proposals will recognise the exceptional national significance of such a milestone and will allow for festivities to continue into the evening a little longer than usual. We must note, of course, that extended licensing hours may lead to more instances of antisocial and disorderly behaviour, and other misdemeanours associated with the consumption of alcohol. I urge the Minister and his colleagues to be alive to that, and to respond positively to any anxieties and requests that the police and local authorities may have in ensuring that all revellers engage in festivities responsibly. In conclusion, however, I am happy to support the Government’s proposals, and wish all Members a wonderful platinum jubilee weekend.
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Dr Huq. On behalf of my constituents, I wish to make just a few points to the Minister about this legislation.
I am sure that all members of the Committee will agree that Her Majesty the Queen has an extraordinary history of service to our nation; that is deeply felt by my constituents in Rossendale and Darwen, which is one of the most patriotic constituencies in the whole land. When the Minister responds, I hope that he will talk about other things—rather than just going to the pub—that his Department is doing to support the jubilee, not least given the Queen’s desire to see the Commonwealth green canopy planted.
I am sure the Minister is aware that the Woodland Trust is currently taking orders for the planting season starting in November, so primary schools, or any other organisation, in our constituencies can be part of celebrating this extraordinary achievement by Her Majesty the Queen. I look forward to working with primary schools across Rossendale and Darwen, in villages such as Tockholes, Edgworth, Helmshore, Weir, Whitewell and others, and planting a tree for the jubilee. For our young people, the pubs staying open a little bit longer is not quite as important as it is to their parents.
Will the Minister comment on the Queen’s extraordinary history of service to the Church of England? This jubilee celebrates Her Majesty the Queen becoming not only our Head of State, but the head of our national Church. In Blackburn cathedral, in the constituency adjoining mine, we will have a special service in celebration of that extraordinary achievement. Will the Minister comment, not just about the services in Blackburn cathedral and other churches in my constituency, but about other people marking the jubilee in that way? That is very different from going to the pub. People may well want to do both—go to the church and then to the pub—although perhaps not at one o’clock in the morning. Will the Minister say what provision will be made for those people?
Finally, having visited the Piece Hall in the constituency of the hon. Member for Halifax, I know what an extraordinary building it is, but I will take her Piece Hall and raise her Darwen Tower, which was erected for Queen Victoria’s jubilee and has recently benefited from the Government’s levelling-up fund. Several hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent to ensure that it can be repointed, restored and rebuilt to continue to stand in glory, not just for the jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, but for many years to come. The people of Rossendale and Darwen—particularly the people of Darwen—will be celebrating that as part of the jubilee.
I fully support what the Government are doing today. I look forward to raising a glass in the Anchor pub in Darwen and the Robin Hood Inn in Helmshore, and I may even go to the Hop on Bank Street in Rawtenstall. I will not be doing a pub crawl, as this will be over several days; the draft order is for 2, 3 and 4 June, so we will have the opportunity to support pubs in our constituencies, which have had such a terrible time during the covid pandemic.
I wish everyone a happy jubilee. I take pleasure in putting on record the thanks of my constituents in Rossendale and Darwen for an extraordinary history of service by Her Majesty the Queen, which all colleagues hope will continue for many years to come.
From across the other side of the Pennines, over the Snake Pass, I call Andrew Jones.
I commend the Minister on this initiative. We have had the most exceptional monarch in Her Majesty, and I believe that Brits, including in Harrogate and Knaresborough, will want to celebrate and mark her incredible service to our country. Raising a pint to Her Majesty in a pub is a fitting way to celebrate her remarkable life and toast her exceptional qualities. The extension of the licensing hours proposed today will be very popular. I support the draft order.
Does anyone else wish to catch my eye, or are there any killjoys who do not want an extra two hours a day over three days? No one at all. In that case, I call the Minister to conclude the debate.
I thank the tourist boards in Halifax, Rossendale and Darwen, and Harrogate and Knaresborough, for their contribution to this debate. While we are on that subject, of course the best place to be over the jubilee weekend will be Torbay, where the Torbay air show will take place along with a free music festival. What could be better than seeing the red, white and blue literally being sprayed across a beautiful piece of south Devon’s coastline, and then—to keep my speech in order—being able to enjoy a beverage, for a couple of hours longer, in a pub in Paignton, Torquay or Brixham?
The comments that we have heard show the wide support for the draft order. On the more serious point raised by the shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Halifax, the police are conscious of the potential for a small minority to enjoy themselves slightly too much and not responsibly, and their need to work with local authorities to tackle such behaviour.
We expect that the vast majority of licensed premises will use the extra flexibility responsibly. It is not compulsory to stay open until 1am; it will be for each individual premises to decide if they wish to take advantage of the extra hours. Previous occasions of this nature have mostly seen good-hearted and good-natured celebrations, and we look forward to this measure being part of a great national celebration.
Question put and agreed to.