25 January 2006

Guidelines help communities to encourage a change in drink culture

The Methodist Church has published guidelines telling churches everything they need to know about the Licensing Act 2003. The Act is fully explained in a new updated version of the briefing One Too Many? New additional guidance advises people how to respond to licence applications in their local areas.

The updated version of One Too ManyƉ?, which explores the issue of alcohol misuse as well as licensing laws, now also explains the process of raising concerns over local applications for extended drinking hours. Residents are encouraged to engage positively with their local authorities and explain how they might be affected by such applications. It also contains advice about the process of making a representation to the local authority.

People are often concerned about the effects of binge drinking on the life of their community, but the Government has stated that under the new law it will be easier for local people to have an influence over licensing decisions. Alison Jackson, Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs, says: 'Although it is too early to tell how the new system will work, people who are concerned about how an application might affect their local area are not powerless. They have the right to be heard, and this publication tells them how'.

The Church is also keen to hear from those who have approached their local authorities about applications, and anyone wishing to share their experiences should contact David Bradwell, Public Issues, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR or email bradwelld@methodistchurch.org.uk.

One Too Many? and the additional guidelines can be downloaded here.

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