New chairman to take Best Bar None to ‘next stage’

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A Conservative peer who has been a leading contributor in the review of the Licensing Act has been appointed as new chairman of the Best Bar None initiative for bars, pubs and clubs.

Philip Smith, The Lord Smith of Hindhead, has joined with the intention to lead the scheme through its “next stage of growth and development”.

A member of the House of Lords as a life peer since 2015, he sat on the select committee reviewing the 2003 Licensing Act and has been a supporter of the Best Bar None scheme. He is also chief executive of the Association of Conservative Clubs after joining its staff in 1987.

Lord Smith has also worked closely with the industry in his roles as vice chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and executive member of the All Party Parliamentary Non-Profit Making Clubs’ Group.

He joins as Best Bar None has active programmes in 70 towns and cities across the UK, paying a positive contribution to a reduction in alcohol-related disorder and boosting the local evening and night-time economy.

Lord Smith said: “I’m delighted to join Best Bar None at a time when it is increasingly important for the industry to maintain self-regulation in demonstrating licensed premises are well run, responsible businesses that have a positive impact within our towns and cities.

“There is a huge opportunity for the industry to work hand-in-hand with local government and build positive relationships with the police and other emergency services as we roll out more schemes across the country.”

He replaces outgoing chairman Robert Humphreys who will revert to his previous role as vice chairman. He commented: “I am delighted that Philip is taking over the lead at Best Bar None as we experience growing interest in its benefits across the country.

“The scheme brings increased professionalism and safety into the heart of communities, with pubs and bars working with their police and local authority partners in creating safer environments in which customers can enjoy an evening out.”

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