Alcohol disorder zones delayed again

21 March, 2008

The government has vowed alcohol disorder zones will

go ahead despite being told to redraft

proposals for a second time.

In an embarrassing setback, a committee of MPs and peers

ordered the Home Office to clarify its regulations on the controversial scheme before Parliament debates whether it should become law.

The regulations were first released in December but were swiftly withdrawn,

with new guidelines reissued in January. But in a memo

to

trade and ­government bodies this week, and leaked to OLN, the Home Office's Alcohol Strategy Unit said it was again withdrawing the document because of a "drafting flaw".

The latest hold-up relates to the wording of the local authorities' complaints procedures, which was referred to as an "appeals process" rather than a "complaints process" by "mistake".

The note added that the government would take "the opportunity to revise the guidance" further to reflect concerns that have been raised about the scheme, which gives local authorities the right to charge licensed premises in a designated area a levy to tackle disorder.

Stephen Hogg, policy adviser at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: "The fact

the ADZs regulations have had to be withdrawn for a second time is proof

the proposals are fundamentally flawed. "

Despite the delay, a Home Office spokesman

said

ADZs were expected to be implemented as early as spring.




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