Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Drink Licensing Shambles

Drink Licensing Shambles

The Federation of Small Businesses has said that the new system for licensing alcohol sales in the UK is a "shambles".

There are only six days to go until the August 6 deadline. However, 58% of the 180,000 licence-holders in England and Wales have not yet submitted renewal applications.

This means that over 100,000 businesses will miss the deadline, including; 30,000 restaurants and fast-food outlets, 26,000 hotels and guest houses and 6,500 shops.

Policy chairman John Walker said:

"The Licensing Minister may well be predicting that the new system will be seen favourably in a couple of years' time, but few businesses will forget that its introduction has been a shambles.

We have some sympathy with local authorities. The failure of businesses to renew their licences is a time-bomb of the Government's making, which we warned was set to explode this summer.

Ministers under-estimated the vast array of firms that come under the new regime, including many that make just a tiny proportion of their profits from alcohol.

They didn't listen when we told them that 26-page forms and a requirement to submit plans of premises were all right for national chains with in-house legal teams but not for independent traders
."

This means that some areas may well face a dry Christmas.

You have been warned!

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