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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 16:01 GMT
North West: 24-hr party people
Steve Rawling
The Politics Show North West

Tray of drinks
Pubs will be allowed to be open longer

Over 9,000 venues in the North West are taking advantage of the new licensing laws to stay open longer and later.

An exclusive survey by The Politics Show reveals how many pubs, bars, hotels and clubs have been granted extensions to the hours they can open and serve alcohol in your area.

Not surprisingly, cities like Liverpool, Salford and Manchester top the league table, with over 1,500 late drinking licences between them.

Many of the new licences have gone to hotels in the region, allowing them to keep in residents' bars open later.

Refusals

Very few applications - just 35 - were refused outright. But in many cases local councils reduced the hours pub and club owners wanted, following objections from the police or public.

The Minister responsible for licensing, James Purnell, told BBC Northwest Tonight that 80% of venues would close at midnight or one o'clock.

"One of the key goals of the Act was to get rid of this 11 o'clock closing time, which has meant people all being chucked out on the streets at the same time," he said.

"That has been one of the main reasons there has been so much alcohol fuelled violence between eleven and midnight."

24-hour licences

Sixty-three venues asked for 24 hour licences but only 53 were awarded, and around a third of these were supermarkets.

On Politics Show, we ask what these changes will mean for the night time economy of the region.

Will it lead to an increase in binge drinking?

Let us know what you think of the changes - are you looking forward to joining the 24 hour party people, or do you predict a riot?

Council Applications for extended licences 24hr licences granted
Liverpool 656 6
Salford 540 1
Tameside 450 2
Manchester 440 6
Wigan 379 1
Bolton 375 2
Stockport 344 2
Chester City 320
Bury 320 1
Wirral 302 2
South Lakeland 300 1
Chorley 285 2
Rochdale 269 2
Sefton 263 1
Fylde 260
Lancaster City 255 2
St Helens 234 3
Hyndburn 232 1
Blackburn with Darwen 203
Warrington 203
Preston City 200 1
Congleton 200
Blackpool 190
Trafford 168 3
Ellesmere Port & Neston 166 1
Vale Royal 166
West Lancashire 163
Burnley 150 1
Crewe & Nantwich 146
Wyre 138
Rossendale 135
High Peak 134 1
Barrow in Furness 129 2
Pendle 120 2
Halton 100 1
Knowsley 91 3
Ribble Valley 90
South Ribble 80 1
Macclesfield 1
Oldham 4
Total 9196 54


Oldham and Macclesfield councils were unable to supply the information requested.

Jim Hancock will be joined by Home Office Minister Paul Goggins and the Regional Director of Public Health, Professor John Ashton to discuss the new licensing laws.

The Politics Show

Join Jim Hancock and Gill Dummigan on the Politics Show on Sunday 04 December 2005 at Noon on BBC One.

Have your say - let us know what you think

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11 Sep 05 |  Politics Show


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