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House of Lords Committee recommends New York-style hygiene displays for London eateries

DATE: 07 Dec 2008

The House of Lords Select Committee appointed to consider petitions against the latest London Local Authorities Bill has published its report.

The most significant recommendation is that the Bill should make it compulsory for all premises selling food in London to display their food hygiene certificates. The current 5-star rating system, known as ‘Scores on the Doors’, is voluntary only, but the London Boroughs are seeking powers for a mandatory scheme to bring London in line with New York, Los Angeles and Copenhagen.

The Bill also enables the London Boroughs to charge premises for placing tables and chairs on the highway. The Select Committee agreed that this clause should be retained given the growth of ‘café culture’ in the capital and the additional burden that this places on local authorities in terms of street cleaning and enforcement.

The Bill is being promoted by Westminster City Council on behalf of all 33 London Boroughs and covers a wide range of issues relating to the capital. The Committee sat for three days in July to hear evidence and submissions from the promoters, the petitioners and central government.

Nathalie Lieven QC, Patrick Clarkson QC and Gwion Lewis represented the London Boroughs promoting the Bill. A full transcript of the evidence taken before the Committee is available here