A NEW rule change to help businesses offer more 'al fresco' drinking and dining is on the cards thanks to a Northwich MP.

Mike Amesbury, Labour MP for Weaver Vale, tabled a successful amendment in Parliament to help offset the impact of coronavirus on the industry.

The amendment to the Business and Planning Bill, which is expected to shortly become law, makes it easier for firms to put removable furniture outside their premises on temporary pavements and road closures which have already been set up by local councils in response to the pandemic for activities such as cycling and walking.

The temporary legislation would be in effect until September next year.

Tabling the amendment in the Commons, Mr Amesbury gave a speech urging the Government to ensure that the changes were applied sensibly, and with staff, local residents and disabled pedestrians in mind.

Speaking outside the Chamber, he added: “A lot of businesses in Weaver Vale who work in the hospitality trade are concerned about how they’re going to get back to work while adhering to important social distancing guidelines, this amendment gives them more space and more options with regards to how they go about doing that.

“It’s essential that as a society we maintain our discipline and keep coronavirus under control, but where legislation can help support business to ply their trade safely then we need to give them all the support we can.”