Guidelines help communities to encourage a change in drink culture

The Methodist Church has published guidelines telling churcheseverything they need to know about the Licensing Act 2003. The Actis fully explained in a new updated version of the briefing One TooMany? New additional guidance advises people how to respond tolicence applications in their local areas.

The updated version of One Too ManyÉ?, which explores the issue ofalcohol misuse as well as licensing laws, now also explains theprocess of raising concerns over local applications for extendeddrinking hours. Residents are encouraged to engage positively withtheir local authorities and explain how they might be affected bysuch applications. It also contains advice about the process ofmaking a representation to the local authority.

People are often concerned about the effects of binge drinking onthe life of their community, but the Government has stated thatunder the new law it will be easier for local people to have aninfluence over licensing decisions. Alison Jackson, Secretary forParliamentary and Political Affairs, says: 'Although it is tooearly to tell how the new system will work, people who areconcerned about how an application might affect their local areaare not powerless. They have the right to be heard, and thispublication tells them how'.

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

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