Shabana has written to the Ministry for Housing, Community, and Local Government regarding Shisha regulation after a response from Kit Malthouse MP supporting proposals.
In February, Shabana wrote to the Home Office regarding proposals for regulation, and received a response the Minister of State from Crime and Policing in September. You can read that response here.
In his response, the Minister supports the approach of amendments to local government legislation that would provide flexibility to consider a wider range of options for local controls than would be possible through the Licensing Act 2003.
In her latest letter to the MHCLG, Shabana references the Minister’s response and is now seeking to meet the relevant Minister to talk about the proposals for regulation.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State
Regulation of Shisha Lounges
As you will be aware, for some time now I have been campaigning to strengthen the regulation around shisha lounges to prevent crime and disorder, ensure public safety and to provide specific oversight for this type of hospitality venue.
In January last year, I held a round table discussion with the Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth and representatives from various local authorities from across the country to discuss the most effective way forward. Local authority leaders and officials whose communities have increasing numbers of shisha-based enterprises resoundingly agree that an amendment to the Local Government Act (2000) would be the most efficient route through which we could ensure this rapidly growing sector has more stringent regulatory oversight.
I understand that ministers have previously pointed to the Licencing Act (2003) as an existing piece of legislation through which such premises can be effectively managed. While I understand the arguments behind this, I strongly believe that an amendment to the Local Government Act (2000) is now needed to give local authorities the necessary powers and legislative consent to properly regulate the increasing number of shisha lounges which are bending the rules and causing significant anti-social behaviour issues and community cohesion problems. I note that within my recent correspondence with the Home Office (MIN/0121385/20, enclosed) that the Minister of State for Crime and Policing agrees that effective local control of such premises is only going to be achieved via legislative change from the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government.
I would therefore be grateful if you would agree to meet with me virtually to discuss the issues around shisha lounges and the legislative route through which we can work constructively together to alleviate some of the issues an increasing number of local communities are facing.
Should you be willing to meet, please get in touch with my office to arrange a mutually convenient time.
Thank you for giving this matter your attention – I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood