Individuals and organisations are being invited to help shape reform of the Island’s licensing laws.
A consultation launched today by the Department of Home Affairs offers an opportunity for those with views on the draft Liquor Licensing and Public Entertainments Bill 2021 to share them. It is the latest stage in a landmark overhaul of the current licensing regime, and follows a consultation on policy principles earlier this year.
Current alcohol licensing arrangements are in need of reform and the Department is aiming to balance a number of competing needs and aspirations in its proposed licensing regime. Supporting economic growth through a more streamlined licensing process - which is responsive to innovation, represents the needs of all those in the licensed trade and ensures the Island is a healthy and safe place to live - have all been considered.
The Department is grateful for the many responses to the previous policy consultation which have all been carefully reviewed. An enabling Bill taking the feedback into account aims to provide a modern, fit-for-purpose licensing structure and regime suitable for the Island’s future needs.
The Department has a long-standing and positive relationship with the licensed trade and hopes to build on this in the future. Further consultation is planned as a key part of any secondary legislation, and stakeholders, representatives of the industry and the public will be invited to give their views via the Consultation Hub. An overview of the planned legislation along with talking points on the Bill are available alongside the consultation online.
Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Graham Cregeen MHK said:
‘Following the policy consultation which took place recently, it was clear that the new Liquor Licensing and Public Entertainments Bill needed to be an enabling one, capable of balance and of supporting the industry in the good times and the bad, in creating opportunities to showcase our beautiful Island and its produce, while keeping the public safe.
‘This briefer and more enabling Bill aims to bring about legislation that can stand as practical, usable and futureproof. I am grateful to those who responded to the consultation on the policy behind the Bill, which was a valuable exercise, and would encourage everyone with an interest in licensing to respond to this consultation and have their views heard.’
This consultation is now live online at the Consultation hub.
It will be open for two weeks from Friday 16 April 2021 until Thursday 29 April 2021.