Boozing in salons ‘a hair-raising idea’

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A CHANGE to licensing laws that would allow drink to be sold in hairdressing salons and florists will not help the North-East, a watchdog has warned.

MPs were today due to debate proposals to introduce a ‘Community and Ancillary Sellers’ Notice’ as part of the Deregulation Bill in the House of Commons that would enable premises whose core business is not the sale of alcohol to do so.

If passed, it means businesses such as hairdressers, florists, children’s soft play areas and tanning salons would be able to sell alcohol as part of a wider business contract.

But that has angered Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, which says its own survey of more than 2,700 people found that 98 per cent felt there were enough or too many places selling alcohol in the region.

Balance says the North East already has 7,962 premises selling alcohol, one of the highest densities of licensed premises in the country.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The availability of alcohol in the North East is already too widespread and the proposed introduction of measures making it easier for businesses to sell alcohol will do even more harm to our region and its communities.

“Alcohol is already available round the clock, every day of the year from locations as diverse as petrol stations and soft play areas. Ancillary licenses will only make matters worse.

“It will remove barriers certain businesses currently face when obtaining licenses making it harder for local licensing officers to object.”

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