The Government has announced the following as a result of the consultation on its alcohol strategy.
- It will not be introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol.
- It will not be introducing a ban on multi-buy promotions.
- It will be introducing a ban on the sale of alcohol in England and Wales at a price below the level of alcohol duty for a product plus value-added tax to come into force no later than Spring 2014.
- It will be reviewing the mandatory licensing conditions and specifically will be looking to tighten up those conditions relating to irresponsible drinks promotions and age verification. There will be a requirement for on trade premises to list the price of small measures on menus or price lists with a requirement that if a customer does not specify a measure they will have to make customers explicitly aware that those are available.
- They will encourage the formation of local alcohol action areas which will have the aim of reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder, reduce alcohol-related health harms and promote the growth of an established diverse and vibrant night time economy.
- Increase the annual limit for the number of temporary event notices from 12 to 15.
- Give Licensing Authorities the power to make local exemptions from the requirement to have late night refreshment as a licensable activity (the provision of hot food and drink between the hours of 23.00 and 05.00).
- Importantly, from an operational point of view, abolish the requirement for the renewal of Personal Licences after ten years. The first renewals would have been due in 2015.
- Consult on a proposal to abolish the Personal Licence system altogether
- Remove the requirement to report the loss or theft of Licences issued to the Police and receive a crime number
- Introduce a new light touch authorisation to sell alcohol for ancillary sellers and community groups
- Retain the requirement for licensing applications to be published in local newspapers
- Review the sale of alcohol at motorway service areas
For further information, please contact Andrew Cochrane.