The Government has conceded that magistrates should be given a role in the proposed new licensing set-up, according to a report in the Morning Advertiser.

The report backs up earlier speculation reported by M&C Report. It says the Home Office will announce that appeals against licensing decisions by local authorities, who will issue drink licences under the proposed new legislation, will go before local magistrates, and not to the crown court.

Keeping a role for magistrates in the new licensing set-up is seen as a biscuit to opponents of the licensing reform package. However, no news on when the licensing reform White Paper might be expected to become a Bill is expected before the general election.