§ Mr. Pendry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what timetable has been provided to him by the Football Licensing Authority for the issuing of licences at football grounds.570W
§ Mr. John Patten
[holding answer 19 February 1991]: The Football Licensing Authority has advised that it is unlikely to be in a position to implement the football licensing scheme, or to be fully prepared for the implementation of section 9 of the Football Spectators Act 1989, earlier than the beginning of the 1992–93 league football season. Although the recruitment of ground safety inspectors by the authority is proceeding satisfactorily, the authority's view is that the full programme of inspections necessary before licences can be required for all grounds at which designated matches are played cannot realistically be completed before then. It is, however, expected that inspectors will be recruited and trained in time to enable the implementation of section 13 of the 1989 Act possibly as early as 1 June 1991. The powers under section 13 will enable the authority to exercise the functions of keeping under review the discharge by local authorities of their functions under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 in relation to sports grounds at which designated football matches are played and to require local authorities to include specified terms and conditions in safety certificates. My right hon. and noble Friend is writing today to the hon. Member, pursuant to my replies to his earlier questions on 4 and 17 December, about the timetable for the implementation of sections 9 and 13 of the 1989 Act.