June 8, 2005
Question written on 08/06/2005
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will put back the second appointed day of the Licensing Act 2003 by at least eight months;(2) if the Government will put back the deadline for licensees to submit a conversion licence application under the Licensing Act 2003 by at least six months;(3) what assistance the Government will provide to help licensees meet the deadline for completion of conversion applications under the Licensing Act 2003;(4) what steps the Government will take to enable licensees (a) to fulfil the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 with regard to applications to convert premises and (b) to meet the deadline for applications of 6 August.
Answered by James Purnell
As I announced to the House on 8 June, the Government will shortly make an order confirming that 24 November will be the second appointed day. New licences and certificates will have effect from that date.The Government have no intention of extending the period for converting existing licences. Potential applicants and local authorities are aware of the timetable and it would be counter-productive to alter it at this late stage.We are aware that there are concerns over the low number of applicants so far. However, we believe that the deadline of 6 August 2005 allows applicants sufficient time to secure the conversion of their existing licences, should they apply for this. We have invested significant resources in making potential applicants, and other interested parties, aware of the timetable for implementation. Licensing authorities have also run road shows, surgeries and other events. The Government have also produced detailed guidance on our website, and have circulated a regular newsletter, Licensing Countdown, to keep the public and the industry fully informed of progress in implementing the 2003 Act.