Draft legislation has been laid in parliament so that later this year local councils will be able to:You will note that these powers are being given to 'local councils'. You know, the kind of entity sometimes run by utter maniacs.
- use early morning alcohol restriction orders (EMROs) to restrict the sale of alcohol in all or part of their areas between midnight and 6am
- charge a levy for late-night licences to contribute to the cost of extra policing, and other costs linked to late-night drinking like street cleaning
Now, what do you think they will do with such powers? Use them in only the most excessive of cases, or whenever they are able to play with their new toy? Whaddya think?
The detail is even more depressing, as detailed in the government's consultation response document.
On the restricting of sales between midnight and 6am ...
2.14 Suggestions for types of premises that should be considered for an exemption from EMROs included charity events; art galleries; best practice schemes; Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs); private member’s clubs; restaurants and community or country pubs. Other comments suggested that responsible premises should be exempt from every EMRO; that licensing authorities should have the discretion to introduce their own exemptions; and that there should be no exemptions from EMROs.Sounds fair.
2.17 We have decided that there will be no exemptions from EMROs. The intention is that an EMRO should be a simple, pre-packaged tool for licensing authorities to use to readjust the focus of their night-time economy away from problem drinking, when it is found not to promote the licensing objectives. Exemptions would dilute the impact of an EMROOh yeah, silly me. It matters not how responsible you or your customers are, or whether you contribute to late night problems or not. It's just too difficult to distinguish from those who cause problems and those who don't, so everyone must suffer a collective punishment.
They're kind enough to allow you a drink after midnight on New Year's Eve, though. Small mercies, and all that.
And on the late night levy?
3.04 Local residents can use their existing rights to make representations and other channels of communication to call for the implementation of the levy in their area. The 2011 Act has provided residents with new opportunities to be involved in licensing decisions by removing the requirement that they must demonstrate vicinity to premises before making a representation.Don't live anywhere near the noisy bars and late night revellers? It doesn't affect you until you open the Mail and read the hysteria? That's not a problem, you can inflict extra charges on the premises regardless. Just pick up the phone and whine to your heart's content about the youth of today, how it wasn't like that in your day, and that national service would sort 'em out. Job done.
3.11 Restaurants will not be exempt from the levy. We believe that restaurants which operate between midnight and 6am are usually part of and profiting from the night-time economy.Not only will you not be able to enjoy a Cobra with your Chicken Bhuna, you're also likely to pay more for it thanks to Mr Angry of a town miles away.
But surely, Dick, this is only something which will affect city centre hell-holes, why should we care? Well, if that were the case, why would there be a need for this exemption?
3.18 Country village pubs will be included as a discretionary exemption from the levy, subject to specific definitions. In England, this exemption is applicable to those premises which are within designated rural settlements with a population of less than 3,000So, I take it that the daft idea of minimum alcohol pricing can be shelved now late night carnage - urban or rural - has been tackled by our brave and benevolent government?
Course not, that's not the way the ratchet is set. It only ever goes one way, remember?