South Shields MP proposes new law to allow pubs to open longer during national events
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Emma Lewell-Buck, the Member of Parliament for South Shields, has brought forward a Private Members Bill to make it easier for hospitality venues to extending their opening hours during national events.
Under current laws, to avoid the need for venues to apply for individual licence extensions, the Government can create a blanket relaxation of licensing hours for occasions of "exceptional" international, national, or local significance.
However, these relaxations can take up to six months to process, meaning that some events, such as the Lionesses' World Cup final against Spain earlier this year, are not possible to be covered by a blanket extension.
Speaking in the House of Commons on December 6, Mrs Lewell-Buck stated that the proposed bill would provide a boost to the hospitality industry.
She said: “The hospitality sector across our country, and particularly in my area of South Shields, has had an incredibly difficult few years and deserves a boost for themselves and their customers.
"Moments of national celebration should be simple for both businesses and customers.
"This legislation will speed up the process to enable sporting success stories, national holidays, or other impromptu national events to celebrated in our local pubs”
The South Shields MP's Bill would allow the Government to apply blanket relaxations at much shorter notice, allowing venues to extend licencing hours for events and unplanned celebrations.
The British Beer and Pub Association has already pledged its support to the proposed change to the law.
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The South Shields MP was drawn in 15th place during the ballot, with the top seven MPs named guaranteed a full day of debate on their bill.
The ballot bills had their first reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday, December 6, and they will now be debated over 13 sitting Fridays.
Those who are drawn higher in the ballot are more likely to get time to debate their bill and therefore, more likely to have their bill become law.
However, in the last Parliamentary session, 16 Private Members' Bills became law.