Peter Millea and I are off this afternoon to a Licensing Committee meeting. We're representing a group of constituents concerned about an application for an off license at the former SPAR. There's been an off license there before and residents tell us it caused no end of problems. The hours being asked for are 6 in the morning till late at night, which again could cause problems.
Licensing laws however are very strange. Elected Councillors, unless they happen to live very near the premises in question, can't just turn up to committee and speak. Instead we have to get explicit written instructions from named individuals. We have put some time and effort into getting these letters but for everyone who has written there are probably many more who feel strongly but who didn't get round to doing the letter. And the first reaction of constituents when you ask for the letter is to look at you strangely and say why can't you just go and speak anyway?
There is pretty much unanimous agreement among local politicians that these laws need to be changed. We can't change them though. It's up to the government.
I'll report back on what happens later today when I get a chance.