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Sunday, June 19, 2005

No room at the inn

Now this is serious! The Wales on Sunday reports that there could be no room at the inn for festive revellers this Christmas thanks to a licensing shambles. Experts have warned that a third of Welsh pubs face being shut down for the party season as just 7% across the nation have applied for new licences - with the clock ticking towards an August deadline. If they fail thousands of pubs across "booze-loving Wales" face being shutdown.

Although I have no direct experience of the licensing process I believe that it is fraught with red tape. I also understand that Councils themselves would struggle to cope if the flood of applications they had anticipated actually came to pass. Nevertheless, it is disturbing that the licensing trade finds itself in this situation and it is surely up to national government to review what is happening so that the near-apocalyptic scenario being mooted by the Wales on Sunday does not come to pass.
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