Wednesday 09 June 2021
Rachel Woods MLA has said that solid progress has been on the modernisation of our archaic licensing laws through the Licensing Bill, but that work remains across a number of areas.
The North Down Green Party MLA commented after the Consideration Stage of the Bill, which saw the Assembly sitting into the early hours of Wednesday 09 June.
Rachel Woods MLA: "The modernisation of our licensing laws is welcomed and long overdue. The timing of this Bill is particularly important with the hospitality facing huge challenges as a result of the Covid pandemic.
“I had significant engagement with representatives of our hospitality sector in the run up to yesterday's Consideration Stage.
“Our small breweries and manufacturing businesses are innovative, they are entrepreneurial, and their products are rightly growing in popularity locally and across the world. It's vital that we support them through the Licensing Bill and in every way possible.
“My amendment on extending opening hours for taprooms didn't pass last night, but there was progress with the introduction of new Local Producers Licences. Issues remain with these licence proposals in order to make them accessible and workable, but I'm committed to working through these issues before Final Consideration Stage.
"I also spoke last night about the social value of our pubs, especially in rural areas. Pubs are often the hub of the community, the meeting point, the place where celebrations are held and catch ups take place.
“I want to see the Executive support local pubs and do everything possible to recognise their social value and ensure that they are sustainable into the future."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498