Legislators pave way for New Year’s Eve parties

| 15/12/2011

11138940-new-years-eve-lexington-ky (234x300).jpg(CNS): The government pushed through amendments to the music and dance law on Monday, paving the way for liquor license holders to apply to the board for extensions on New Year’s Eve, which this year falls on a Saturday night. The law fell foul of the 21 day constitutional requirement, however, and the opposition leader said that regardless of whether he supported the change or not, the last minute amendment was another example of government by crisis, given that everyone had known for some time that the celebrations would be impacted by the law. Miller abstained from taking part in the debate because the bill was unconstitutional.

The premier admitted that the decision to change the law was late in the day but was simply down to a mix up as the government was unaware that the board did not have the discretion to grant extensions. Once government recognised the problem it moved to change the law to deal with the issue.

Although it had been anticipated that the government was moving to give the board the discretion to allow extensions on any holiday that fell on a Saturday night Sunday morning or on Good Friday, the amendment to the bill was in the end altered at committee stage to limit the change just to New Year’s Eve to assist the tourism sector. The law, which restricts the combination of music and booze and in the same place on a Sunday, remains unaltered.

Once the governor assents to the bill, the liquor board will need to convene a board meeting as it could face hundreds of applications for extensions on what is one of the busiest nights of the year in the hospitality business.

During the bill debate Rolston Anglin said there was no reason why the bill should not be supported by everyone as it was for only one night, once every seven years and was to help the tourism sector, as he called on his legislative colleagues to end the year in unity on at least this one thing. Anglin also noted that as the numbers of people who worshipped on Saturday and not Sunday grew, government had to be careful of not placing more value on one Sabbath over another.

Although, Anthony Eden had objected to the change in principle, the opposition members and Miller objected to the last minute nature of the change rather than the change itself.
During the heated debate following government’s suspension of the order that requires a 21 day public consultation period, the premier accused the opposition of being some of the worst drinkers and accused them of drinking after hours.  Bush added that there was nothing wrong with dancing as it was good exercise as he noted that the government was only giving the discretion to the board to let them decide.

The premier also said he believed the existing Sunday trading laws were hypocritical as people were buying fuel and things in the gas station on Sundays but other shops couldn’t open.

“It’s a hypocritical law and we should change it,” he said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It's about bloody time they changed the licensing laws!  We're in the 21st century here, lets try and act like we're in the 21st century.

    But it's true what someone else saif about Bush not listening to the people. I take my hat off!

    Who cares about what christianity thinks.  Why should those people that don't believe be penalised?  Why should we be tucked away in our beds at 11 o'clock?



  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, please he just looking votes again.  He had all year to bring this to vote and he didn't.  Why wait till the last minute?

  3. Anonymous says:

    We’re gonna party like it’s 1899!

  4. C'mon Son says:

    Cayman is living in the past. Yes we are a Christian society, however we have Pirate's Week? Pirates symbolize Killing, raping, and stealing.

    There is no issue with allowing bars/nightclubs to remain open passed midnight on Saturday. The current economic situation we are in does not allow us to continue to live like this. Tourists are disappointed when they visit our nightlife.

    Dont get me wrong, I'm not saying this so that people can have longer to drink, but so that they may enjoy themselves more, and business' have opportunity to generate a considerable income on Saturday night (which is some clubs busiest night).

    This would therefore mean though, that nightclubs should enforce that if a patron appears to have had 3 too many drinks, they can refuse to serve them.

    • Anonymous says:

      dont get me wrong, but if its not about people having more time to melt their brains, how do the business' make more money?

      also i think you should get 5 drinks to many.  otherwise you may sober up before you have time to wake up and start drinking again.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If they're revisiting the law, rather than make minor changes just let us enjoy ourselves every Saturday night the way we can on a Friday, and please let Sunday trading commence with all stores open so we can do our shopping on either day. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you want to change it Mac do so you know you don't have to ask the peolpe what they think.  You never do.  Just go ahead this is all about what you want.  The people don't count .  Oh and by the way remember you don't have to keep us informed either.   This is your country to rule not ours.

  7. Anonymous says:

    well said mckeeva….sunday trading lawas are nonsense..same with midnight closing of bars on sat……but why haven't you done anything on this in the last 2 and half years???