House of Lords launches inquiry in to 2003 Licensing Act

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

House of Lords launches inquiry in to 2003 Licensing Act

Related tags: United kingdom

A House of Lords Committee is to launch an investigation in to the success of the 2003 Licensing Act this week.

The law allowed premises to serve alcohol for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and was hailed as the start of a continental 'café culture'.

But the Committee is set to question the Act's true lasting impact and its effects on the hospitality industry.

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, chair of the Committee, said: “While many heralded the Act as the start of a more continental drinking culture, others predicted round-the-clock consumption, leading to disorder and a deterioration in public health.

"But what has the reality actually been like? Has deregulation allowed the drinks industry to thrive? Have drinkers embraced a more relaxed and healthier approach to alcohol? What happened to the anticipated café culture?”

The Committee will begin by questioning officials from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England on 5 July.

It has also issued a call for evidence asking hospitality operators for their views on the impact of the Act, and how it could be further reformed.

McIntosh said: "For good or ill, the Licensing Act has altered the drinking landscape of England and Wales, but an examination of the changes is long overdue. I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to send us written evidence before our deadline of 2 September.”

For further details on the investigation see here.​ Operators can also submit evidence through the website.

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