Minister Must Close The Gap Between Draft Bill And Needs Of Sector

Minister Must Close The Gap Between Draft Bill And Needs Of Sector

15 September 2016

Reacting to the pre introduction briefing from officials from the Department for Communities on the issue of the Liquor Licensing Review Bill this morning at the Committee for Communities, Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said today:

“We welcome the fact that this Bill is being progressed and that it is due to have its First Reading as early as next Monday (19th). Minister Givan and his officials must be commended for pushing this forward but we are concerned about the current content of the draft Bill as it sits now.” 

“This version of the Bill which has now been brought forward is less impactful than the draft Bill which was written a number of years ago, and does not reflect recent changes in consumer or industry trends.” 

 “It has been nearly 30 years since we had an opportunity this good to make a real difference, so we need to make sure that we are futureproofing the law and ensuring that our sector, which is the backbone of the economy here in Northern Ireland, is supported.”

“This Bill needs to be more responsive to the requirements of the industry but at present there is a notable gap between what is being presented to the Assembly next week and what it needs to be to make sure that the legislation is effective in modernising the law here.”

“We call on the Minister for Communities, Paul Givan MLA to ‘close the gap’.”