Nicholl welcomes consultation on Sunday trading hours, licensing hours and casino complex

Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl has welcomed a 12-week consultation to look at Sunday trading hours, licensing and a potential casino complex for Belfast.

At today’s Belfast City Council Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillors voted to put the issue out to consultation, with ratepayers encouraged to give their views via a questionnaire which will be promoted by the Council.

Councillor Nicholl said it was important the public had their say on the issue.

“Alliance brought proposals earlier this year which would have extended Sunday opening hours. While that was disappointing, this consultation once again puts the matter back on the agenda. It came from a motion to look at licensing, opening hours for bars and restaurants, and a potential casino and leisure complex. While Alliance has clear positions on licensing, we are keen to hear people’s views on casinos, so I would encourage as many as possible to take part,

“However, the motion was brought by Sinn Féin, which is ironic, given they voted against liberalising Sunday trading laws via designating Belfast a holiday resort, an issue on which the Council would have been able to make changes. While they talk about improving tourism, when it comes to the crunch they appear to not actually be committed to doing anything about it.

“I hope they now realise the mistake they made and work towards an outcome that delivers for all the people of Belfast. Ultimately, Belfast City Council won’t be able to change anything in this regard, as it falls to the Department for Communities to amend any existing legislation. But with a strong, united Council voice and a restored Executive, we can make our city even more opening and welcome to tourists, residents and businesses.”

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