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New alcohol policy following minimum unit price

Created on 10/09/2020 @ 10:13
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A six-week consultation is due to start that will allow emergency services, pubs and event organisers to feed into the Licensing policy for Powys.

Every five years Powys County Council (PCC) publishes a revised and updated version of the 2003 Licensing Act. They last did this in 2016.

Councillors at a Licensing committee meeting on Tuesday were told that the council would need to publish an updated version in January 2021.

Senior licensing officer Sue Jones explained that changes would need to be agreed and ratified at a full council meeting at the end of November, so that PCC comply with legislation.

Ms Jones said: “We have a few months for consultation and feedback if needed.

“The draft policy builds on the last policy, builds and improves and updates it and takes into consideration any legislative changes, revisions or case law from the last five years.”

Ms Jones continued: “At the beginning of the year, I met with colleagues from Ceredigion, Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire.

“We have different local policies but it was thought we could sit down as a group and discuss what things we need to take into account to have consistent amendments to the policy.”

Minimum alcohol unit pricing law of 50p to tackle harmful and damaging drinking of cheap strong alcohol came into effect this year in Wales and needs to be considered in the policy.

The power to revoke a personal licence has been included in the Act. This means that if a licence holder has a conviction, the police can make a case whether they were “fit” to hold a licence. This would be considered by councillors on the licensing sub-committee.

“It’s a completely new power.” said Ms Jones.

Cllr Huw Williams asked:  “Can a councillor call in an application?”

Ms Jones replied: “Anyone can make a representation. Applications are advertised on our website and go in the local paper and on the property, and we always send a new application to a local member.”

The changes were agreed unanimously by the committee.

Powys has around 1000 licensed premises including:

·      Pubs, bars and nightclubs

·      Cinemas

·      Theatres

·      Schools and Community Premises

·      Restaurants

·      Hotels & Guest Houses

·      Members Clubs

·      Shops and Supermarkets

·      Late Night Food Venues

In the region of 2600 personal licences have been issued.

Around 800 temporary licences are processed every year and include those for events such as the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, Hay Literary Festival, The Greenman Festival, Brecon Jazz, and many smaller events, festivals and shows.

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