The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) believes the proposed new powers for City & County Councils is not the kind of reform the industry needs.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, and the Minister of State for Planning, Paudie Coffey, recently announced a proposal that would allow local councils to have a greater influence on the regulation and planning of new licenced premises, such as pubs, nightclubs and off-licences.
While welcoming the provision as one that promotes the responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol, NOffLA’s Government Affairs Director Evelyn Jones stated, “It is important that a differentiation be made between retail outlets specialising in the sale of alcohol and those mixed traders who retail it as part of a broader offering and as a means to drive footfall to sell other dearer grocery products.”
Jones also lamented the deregulation that occurred in 2000 that led to an increase in licences available for retailing alcohol, and described her uneasiness at the proposed transfer of powers.
“It is the job of Government to regulate the industry and transferring power to local authorities may lead to local commercial circumstances impacting on the decision to award planning for new licensed premises,” she warned.
NOffLA also urged the government to proceed with the Public Health Alcohol Bill and introduce a ban on below cost selling of alcohol.
“We believe these measures will serve as a strong deterrent for the irresponsible retail of alcohol which NOffLA greatly welcomes,” Jones commented.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Brian Dermody