§ 152 Clause 37, page 45, leave out lines 1 to 14.
153 Clause 38, page 46, line 28, at end insert:
'(6A) In section 64 (extensions to permitted hours), for subsection (4) there shall be substituted the following subsections—
(4) A licensing board shall not grant an application from the holder of a public house licence for an occasional or regular extension of permitted hours on Sundays except—
- (a) as respects premises to which section 59 of this Act applies and for the purposes of that section; and
- (b) in the case of other premises, as respects any period or periods after half-past two in the afternoon,
§ (4A) Nothing in subsection (4) above shall prevent the granting of an application for an occasional or regular extension of permitted hours on a Saturday for a period which continues into Sunday morning.".'.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Strathclyde)
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 152 and 153. After a lengthy debate in another place the Committee agreed an amendment to remove Section 64(4) from the 1976 Act with the intention of enabling licensing boards to grant occasional and regular extensions of the permitted hours of public houses on Sundays, which run from 12.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 6.30 p.m. to 11 p. m. At the conclusion of the debate it was explained to the Committee that the effect of the amendment would be to enable licensing boards to grant extensions of permitted hours of public houses on Sundays for the period before 12.30 p.m. and the period after 11 p.m. and it was suggested that a clarifying amendment would be needed. These amendments clarify the situation.
1622 Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 152 and 153. —(Lord Strathclyde.)
§ Lord Macaulay of Bragar
My Lords, without discussing the principle of drinking in public houses on Sunday, I am grateful that the Government have taken notice of the arguments that were presented in your Lordships' House some time ago. It is a sensible amendment. I am gratified to know that the licensing board has the power to refuse to grant the extension of permitted hours if it finds that such an extension would cause undue disturbance or public nuisance in the locality. That is a provision that we all sought. We must recognise that not everyone—and perhaps a minority at the moment—is in favour of Sunday drinking. It can cause great disruption, perhaps more in rural areas than in the city which can absorb noise and disturbance more easily. There is a broad enough test built into the amendment in the hope that the licensing boards will exercise the discretion sensibly in the best interests of the communities which they represent. I welcome this amendment.
§ Lord McCluskey
My Lords, I rise to congratulate the Government on moving from an expert in the law to an expert in this field. The noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, is now dealing with this series of amendments and I look forward to hearing his expertise on the wholesale sale of alcohol.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.