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Personal alcohol licences to stay

The Government has decided not to proceed with the proposal to abolish the system of personal alcohol licences, in response to stakeholder feedback during a two-month consultation by the Home Office.

As part of the wider Alcohol Strategy, the Government sought views on the proposal to abolish the requirement to renew a personal licence every 10 years and replace them with targeted, local alternatives which were estimated to save businesses £10 million a year.

However, the 352 responses received during the consultation period were largely against the proposal, with 90% (284) of respondents believing that it would undermine the licensing objectives. 72% (225) believed that the proposal would not reduce burdens in terms of time and or money on business, and 78% (237) thought that 90% or more of all premises would require training conditions.

The Institute of Alcohol Studies also objected to the Government’s proposal, stating in our submission to the consultation that the abolition of personal licences would “undermine the licensing objectives as well as weakening the needed social awareness that, in view of its health and social impact, alcohol is not an ordinary commodity, and therefore special safeguards are needed in relation to its sale and consumption”.

The Personal Alcohol Licences: Enabling Targeted, Local Alternatives consultation ran for eight weeks from 12 September to 7 November 2013. The Government's response is available to read on the Home Office website.