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Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011


4.In November 2005 the Direct Rule Minister for Social Development sought views on a wide range of policy proposals which included the availability of later opening to 2.00am for most licensed premises and all registered clubs, closure powers, penalty points, more flexible accounting for clubs and a voluntary proof-of-age scheme. In December 2006 he consulted on a draft Order which would have introduced later opening to 2.00am, closure powers, penalty points and amended clubs’ accounting requirements. Both the policy and legislative consultations showed overwhelming support for closure powers and penalty points and widespread support from PSNI, health interests, licensees and others for a mandatory proof-of-age scheme. There was considerable opposition to later opening and opinion was evenly split on the clubs’ accounting proposals. In the event, the Order was not enacted due to the restoration of the Assembly.

5.In 2007 the Executive Minister initiated her own review, drawing and building on the work completed by her predecessor. She held a series of meetings with key stakeholders before finalising her own proposals, incorporated in the Act. These reflect the results of the earlier policy and legislative consultations. Since the time of the 2007 policy review major developments on the local political and economic front were experienced. Growing public concern was also raised about the place of alcohol in modern society and about alcohol-related health and social harms. These developments led to a review of the initial proposals in 2010 to establish if they required updating.

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