While the details of the act are still being finalised, it will revolutionise the way licences are obtained and pave the way for extended opening hours.
A spokesman said: ‘We have got to have a solid dialogue with the people we need to regulate and the policy needs to be communicated to the stakeholders that it affects. The licensed premises range from major brands run by plcs to corner-street off-licences and the impact of the changes will be different for each one.’
By the end of 2004, councils will be responsible for issuing licences to pubs, clubs and shops, taking over the task from magistrate’s courts.
Westminster Council head of comms Alex Aiken said: ‘This is about face-to-face communications rather than relying on bits of paper, and subbing an easy-to-use guide to the new legislation.’