Licensing Standards Newsletter – January 2016

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our January 2016 Newsletter and a very happy New Year.  Hope the Festive Season was good to you. 

As usual,  the newsletter is free and if you want to receive it direct to your inbox, simply sign up for an account and select 'licensing newsletter' from the red box, or access it from our Licensing Standards page on the Council website.  

Contact  Eric Dearie or Raymond Park for licensing standards advice and information, or  the Licensing Board Team for information on licensing applications; applying for a licence or for an update on your licensing application.

We have included a link to all our previous newsletters should you want another look.

Licence Conditions

We Continue our look at the national mandatory licence conditions attached to premises licences and what they mean in practical terms to the running of licensed premises.  There are currently 13 conditions and all licensed premises have to abide by them.  In addition, a licensing board can set local licensing conditions to promote safety and assist in maintaining the 5 licensing objectives (e.g. stewarding; patron curfews and music curfews, etc.) 

This month we will look at Conditions 7 and 7A both covering Pricing Variations -

Condition 7: On Sales

Where the price at which any alcohol sold on the premises is varied -S

a)    the variation (referred to in this paragraph as “the earlier price variation”) may be brought into effect only at the beginning of a period of licensed hours, and

b)    no further variation of the price at which that or any other alcohol is sold on the premises may be brought into effect before the expiry of the period of 72 hours beginning with the coming into effect of the earlier price variation

This Condition not only affects the price of the promoted alcohol but all alcohol sold during the 72 hour period.  In basic terms, if a premises runs a promotion where the price of alcohol is to be varied, then this promotion must last for not less than 72 hours and start at the commencement of licensing hours on the first day and end at the terminal hour on the third day.  No further variations can take place during the 72 hours period

Condition 7A: Off Sales

Where the price at which any alcohol sold on the premises is varied -S

a)    the variation (referred to in this paragraph as “the earlier price variation”) may be brought into effect only at the beginning of a period of licensed hours, and

b)    no further variation of the price at which that alcohol is sold on the premises may be brought into effect before the expiry of the period of 72 hours beginning with the coming into effect of the earlier price variation

Unlike Condition 7 covering on sales, Condition 7A affects only the price of the promoted alcohol product (not all alcohol lines) sold during the 72 hour period. 

Licensing Board Hearings Dates - 2016

The dates of The Argyll and Bute Licensing Board hearings in 2016 have been published on the council website.  The next meeting of the licensing board is 12th  April,  with the last lodging date for applications being 1st March.

Local Licensing Forum (LLF) Meetings Dates - 2016

The Argyll and Bute Local Licensing Forum (LLF) will meet as follows in 2016.  Each meeting commences at 10:30am in the Council Chambers, Kilmory, Lochgilphead:

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Tuesday 6 December 2016 (Joint meeting with licensing board)

If you are interested in joining the Forum, you should make contact with the Forum’s administrative officer, Shona Marshall on 01546-604407 or by e-mail at shona.marshall@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Forum meetings are open to the public and should you wish to attend to observe, it is recommended you contact Shona Marshall prior to each meeting to confirm the meeting is going ahead.

Outdoor drinking – On Sales premises only

Planning for the year ahead?  Perhaps the time is right to consider the potential for an outdoor drinking space and some of the dos and don’ts involved in managing existing or proposed spaces.

Firstly, to ensure you are working within the terms and conditions of your premises licence check your  Operating Plan and Layout Plan (architect or similar type drawing) to determine whether or not you have been granted permission by the licensing board to utilise an outdoor area.  In the Operating Plan at Question 5(d) Outdoor Drinking, if there is a Y (for Yes) recorded in the box you have the permission.  if there is an N (for No) in the box you do not and you will need to submit a variation application to have it included.  Also, any outdoor drinking area must be clearly depicted in the Layout Plan.  If it is not this must be rectified again by variation application.

The following are examples of the variations which may be required for an outdoor space to be utilised:

 

Operating & Layout Plans

 

Type of Variation required

 

 

New or existing area where Operating Plan shows N (for no) and not shown on Layout Plan

 

 

Major Variation to amend both Operating and Layout Plans

 

Existing area shown on Layout Plan but not in Operating Plan

 

 

Major Variation to amend Operating Plan

 

Existing Area not shown on Layout Plan but Y (for yes) in Operating Plan

 

 

Minor variation and submission of new/amended Layout Plan

 

It is useful to remember that while a minor variation can be processed and granted under delegation rules (without having to be heard at a Board meeting) a major variation must be heard by the Board and requires your attendance.  The inclusion of an outdoor drinking area may also require planning permission and further information on this aspect can be obtained from the Licensing Board Team or Contact Planning & Building Standards.  

In addition, to ensure your continued support as a good neighbour, a final check is required to see if you have a terminal hour for use of the outdoor drinking area.  Licensing Board policy suggests, default time of 10:00pm for adults and 8:00pm for children and young persons.

Finally, and being ever the optimist, looking forward to a warm spring and summer, in the February Newsletter we will discuss the Café Culture policy requirements to utilise pavement space in front of, or adjacent to, your premises.

 Answering your questions

Q.  Can you please advise on the requirements regarding premises managers? How often do they need to be on the premises?

A.  This was covered in our September 2015 NewsletterEvery licensed premisesmust have a  Premises Manager recorded on the premises licence who must hold a valid personal licence and have day to day responsibility for the premises.  A premises manager can only act as such for one premises at a time.  The premises manager must authorise the sale of alcohol on the premises, but is not required to be present for every sale.  However, The Argyll and Bute licensing board expects premises managers to be hands on and effectively oversee their responsibilities and licensing standards would advise managers that if they are not able to be on the premises on a regular basis they should consider substituting a new premises manager for the role.

Q.  Is it okay for me to have a drink in my own premises, I know I can’t be drunk but is it legal to have a drink off or on duty or both?

A. Having a drink in the premises you manage or work in is not an offence, being drunk is. It’s a practice that any management should discourage, particularly while on duty. The temptation to assist your colleagues in a busy spell while off duty is also fraught with danger and should be avoided. Drunkenness is a subjective perception and it is clear the threshold for drunkenness is much lower than you might perceive. The risk is simply not worth it and it could cost you your premises licence and personal licence. Finally, with the new drink driving limits, a motorist who has consumed a pint might well be a “drunk driver”.

Personal licence refresher training and accredited trainers

The refreshing of personal licences is an ongoing process and information on refresher training and local accredited trainers who offer full and refresher personal licence training courses can be found here. 

That’s it for now

Do you need more information?  Or maybe you would like a licensing topic included in the next edition - contact us.

Legal Advice

Licensing standards does not provide legal advice or opinion and the above information should not be considered such.  Any legal advice or opinion on licensing matters should be obtained from a licensing solicitor.