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Communities Committee Launches Call for Evidence on New Liquor Licensing Law

The Assembly’s Committee for Communities yesterday launched its call for evidence on the new Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill. The Bill contains a number of important proposals, which if passed, will see the most comprehensive changes to liquor licensing laws here since 1996.  

Speaking after the launch, the Committee Chairperson Paula Bradley MLA yesterday said:

“We are pleased that this long awaited Bill has now reached its Committee Stage. As with any new law, changes will always be a balancing act and we want to ensure that as well as supporting our hospitality and tourism industries, it will also allow us to bring forward measures to help tackle alcohol misuse and to promote responsible consumption.

“The Bill includes a number of important clauses, including the removal of current restrictions over the Easter weekend, an extension to ‘drinking up’ time, as well as a proposal to increase the number of days certain licensed premises and small pubs can stay open longer. A new category of premises to include the popular and growing sector of small local producers of beer, cider and spirits, is a further proposal contained in the Bill.”

Ms Bradley continued:

“We are also very conscious of the need to ensure that the new legislation contains measures to help tackle alcohol misuse and to promote responsible consumption. Currently, this includes proposals to restrict the advertising of alcohol in supermarkets and licenced premises, as well as prohibiting retailers from allowing customers to gain loyalty points from alcohol purchases, or the use of loyalty points to buy alcohol.”

Ms Bradley concluded:

“This law, will impact on our tourism and hospitality industries and on local people directly. We are therefore keen to hear the views of as many people as possible so that we can ensure the Bill is robust and fit for purpose.”

The Committee’s call for evidence and further information on how to respond can be accessed on the Northern Ireland Assembly website. The consultation will remain open for four weeks and will close on Monday 14 December at 5pm.

Notes to Editor:

For further information, including background, history and the recent departmental consultation.

The Committee for Communities membership is:

Paula Bradley MLA (Chairperson)

Kellie Armstrong MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Andy Allen MLA

Mark H Durkan MLA

Alex Easton MLA

Sinéad Ennis MLA

Fra McCann MLA

Robin Newton MLA

*A third Sinn Fein member is to be confirmed

Media enquiries to:

Sinead Murphy
Deputy Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 9052 5938
Mobile: 078 998 64368


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