Subject: Please will you speak up for me & other consumers on Monday?
Dear [NAME] MLA,
As one of your constituents I’d like you to speak up on behalf of me and other consumers on Monday during the further consideration stage of the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill.
I’d like you as my MLA to help make sure that the Licensing Bill:
(a) works in practice for small, local and independent producers; and
(b) that the review of our licensing system and the ‘surrender principle’ is carried out as quickly as possible by a genuinely independent person to help support and grow our pub sector and our great publicans
I’m really pleased to see that local breweries and cider producers can have a fairer crack of the whip by being able to sell online and open a brewery shop – as well as run occasional taprooms.
However, there are worries that the legislation could leave local producers and consumers worse off if there’s a range of costly restrictions and hoops to jump through including planning permission and changes to how business rates are calculated. This would make it almost impossible for small businesses to turn a profit.
A similar situation in ROI has meant only a handful of breweries there have organised taprooms since legislation was passed in 2018.
Local brewers, cider makers and representatives of pub goers and beer drinkers have written an open letter to the Communities Minister which outlines their concerns in more detail here: https://camrani.org.uk/open-letter-to-the-minister-for-communities-regarding-the-licensing-and-registration-of-clubs-amendment-bill/
I’d also like to see the Minister commit to starting the review of our outdated licensing system and the surrender principle which stifles competition and consumer choice. We need an independent review so we can explore options to update and improve the way alcohol licences here work – without putting the livelihoods of our great, independent publicans at risk.
Please will you speak up on both of these issues during the Further Consideration Stage debate on Monday?
If you can’t speak in the debate please will you write to the Communities Minister on my behalf to make sure this legislation delivers for small, local businesses and improves consumer choice?
Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing from you.