The government has scrapped plans to abolish personal licences after a consultation found little support for the move.

The consultation was launched to see if changes to the licensing regime could spare some businesses red tape, and allow licensing authorities to target premises that need training more than others.

But 94% of those in the trade who answered the consultation said the proposed changes would undermine licensing objectives, and 90% said the changes would not relieve the burden of red tape.

A government report on the consultation said: “The government will maintain an ongoing, open dialogue with its partners and ensure that any proposed changes to alcohol licensing continue to strike a balance between removing unnecessary bureaucracy for responsible businesses but maintaining important safeguards.”

The WSTA welcomed the news.

Chief executive Miles Beale said: “We are pleased that the government has listened to the concerns of the industry and won’t be abolishing personal alcohol licences.

“While we are fully supportive of the government’s commitment to reducing regulatory burden on business, allowing local authorities the powers to develop their own personal licensing system risked imposing unnecessary burdens on the trade and creating disparities between local authorities.

“When it comes to the responsible sale of alcohol our members are fully supportive of measures to help raise the general standard of training and will often go much further to ensure they are operating the highest standards with regards to the retail of alcohol.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “It is very good news the government has listened to the industry, as the whole trade was united in opposition.  

“Personal licences work well, setting a national standard which is supported by both local authorities and the police. They are important for the reputation of the industry, and are needed, as a nationally recognised qualification.

“The government’s intentions on deregulation are still very welcome; we will always be keen to work with them on the many other areas where action to reduce red tape is needed.”

Find out more about the decision here.