The Licensing Act has "worked well" and proved the 24-hour pub to be a myth, according to the British Beer and Pub Association, writes Ewan Turney. Brigid Simmonds, the BBPA’s chief executive, hailed the act on its fifth anniversary while also issuing a warning to Government as it plans to press ahead with controversial changes to Licensing. “Overall, the Act has worked well," she said. "The ‘24-hour pub’ has been shown to be a myth — as we always said it would be. A pub is open, on average, just 27 minutes later than prior to the Act’s introduction." But the pub trade is fearful of the consequences of Home Secretary Theresa May's plans to tinker with the act, which could see more power handed to councils and residents, health added as a licensing objective, increasing "voluntary closure" periods and a levy charged on late night licences. “When it comes to reform of the Act, we share the Government’s objective of tackling binge drinking and anti-social behaviour, but there is a huge array of existing laws with which to do this," said Simmonds. "We need to do more to promote and protect our pubs, which are, after all, at the heart of our hospitality and tourism industry and the home of responsible and supervised drinking.”