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Views sought on liquor licensing

05 February 2016

The Government of Jersey has revised its proposals for a new Liquor Licensing Law and is inviting public and industry comments on the suggested changes.

The new proposals are based on a related policy paper that was published in September 2014 as part of a wider report on alcohol and licensing policy. Since then, further consideration has been given to the following six areas:

  • The Licensing Objectives: Applications for liquor licences under the new law will be determined in public in accordance with published guidance based on five licensing objectives. Although economic factors will not be ignored, the five objectives will prioritise crime and disorder reduction, securing public safety, prevention of public nuisance, protection of children and public health improvements.
  • A replacement for the Licensing Authority: The licensing process will be transparent in terms of cost and process. It should also operate faster without increasing overall operating costs, although the costs will be funded by industry.
  • The Alcohol and Licensing Policy Group: Alcohol licensing policy decisions would be taken in a transparent and accountable way by a new government-appointed body, supported by existing resources.
  • Alcohol price control: An existing policy that sought to guard against price promotions on alcoholic drinks in public houses and other on-licensed premises would be superseded by a new policy affecting both on- and off-licensed premises in the same way. The biggest change would be that special offers on alcohol would not be allowed in supermarkets, small shops or other off-licenses.
  • Personal licences: There is no longer an intention to introduce personal licences. As such, the system in Jersey would look more like it does now and less like the UK system. Removal of personal licenses will not affect the requirement for managers and staff to be appropriately trained and certified.
  • The fee system: Liquor licence fees will rise from existing levels, which were set over seven years ago. The higher fees will fund the creation of a new authority to determine licences. Off-licence fees are likely to rise considerably more than on-licence fees.

Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, who is leading the wider alcohol strategy, said “The new Law is a key component of the alcohol strategy, which is now moving forward quickly with support across government. We hope that stakeholders and the public will respond with their views.”

Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Connétable Steve Pallet, who is leading the Department’s work on the new Law said “The consultation is the product of a great deal of work on the new Licensing Law, and I hope that the public and the industry will see that we’re tackling the big structural challenges in this area – prices, fees and how licences are decided upon.”

The consultation can be accessed online and the closing date for responses is 19 April 2015.

A new liquor licensing law for Jersey

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