The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has reiterated its calls on the House of Lords Licensing Act Committee to retain the current licensing objectives instead of imposing new restrictions on responsible retailers.
The Committee is currently hearing evidence on the impact that the current licensing laws have on public health.
In a written submission to the committee earlier this year, ACS outlined a number of ways in which the Licensing Act could be improved for licensees, including:
• removing the requirement for licensees to display a statutory notice in a local newspaper when applying for an alcohol licence or major variation;
• creating a central online platform to manage licensing applications;
• ensuring licensing conditions are based on recent, local, relevant evidence;
• removing the requirement for forecourt retailers to prove the primary use of their business as retail.
As part of the consultation, the committee have asked whether the “protection of health and wellbeing” be introduced as an additional licensing objective.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We do not believe that the licensing system is an appropriate mechanism to address alcohol related health harms. Since the introduction of the Licensing Act in 2005, alcohol harm and consumption has been falling, showing that the current objectives are effective.
“We believe that to prevent alcohol-related harm the Government must focus on ensuring the compliance and standards of retailers in the market, as opposed to introducing a measure that could lead to responsible retailers being blocked from having a licence.”