Licensing reform in England and Wales has taken another step forward, with guidance for the 2003 licensing act receiving approval in the House of Commons last week.
The House of Lords will vote on the guidance on 8 June. If approved, a six-month preparatory period for operators and local authorities will begin, followed by a nine-month transition period that will switch licensing responsibility from magistrates to councils.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has yet to publish a finalised fee structure for the new regime, however, and remains in consultation with local authorities.
"We are taking our time to make sure we get it right," said a spokesman for the DCMS. "We can't give an exact date but it will be fairly soon."