Licensing Standards Newsletter – May 2015

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our April newsletter. We maintain a library of previous Newsletters which can be accessed via our web page should you wish another look.  You can sign up via the Council’s Homepage to receive the Newsletter each month to your inbox.

ContactEric Dearie or Raymond Park for licensing standards advice and information, or  the licensing team to apply for a licence or for an update on a licensing application.  

The ‘Nip Net’ Website

If you are a licensee or work in the trade you may already be aware of the Nip Net website.  For those who are not aware, Nip Net is an excellent online resource for the licensed trade providing an array of information in relation to licensing legislation; best practice; and offers and promotions, etc.

We recommend you give Nip Net a look.

Oban PubWatch

Eric attended the May meeting of the Oban PubWatch and will be attending each monthly meeting from now on.  If you are a licensee or premises manager in Oban and are not already a member, or if you would like to start a PubWatch scheme in your area, please Contact Eric for more information. 

PubWatch Schemes bring together the police and licensees to work together in reducing disorder and violence in town centres.  Each Scheme is only successful where local premises have signed up to exclude from licensed premises those responsible for anti-social behaviour.

The Argyll and Bute Licensing Board fully supports the PubWatch Scheme.

Major and Minor Variations to Premises Licences

We have been asked to clarify what constitute major and minor variations to a premises licence.  The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 details these as follows:  

1. A major variation in relation to a premises licence, means any variation of:

a)    any of the conditions to which the licence is subject (other than those to which the licence is subject by virtue of section 27(1)),

b)    any of the information contained in the operating plan contained in the licence,

c)    the layout plan contained in the licence, or

d)    any other information contained or referred to in the licence, and includes an addition, deletion or other modification.

2. A minor variation in relation to a premises licence, means:

a)    any variation of the layout plan, if the variation does not result in any inconsistency with the operating plan,

b)    where, under the operating plan contained in the licence, children or young persons are allowed entry to the premises, any variation reflecting any restriction or proposed restriction of the terms on which they are allowed entry to the premises,

c)    any variation of the information contained in the licence relating to the premises manager (including a variation so as to substitute a new premises manager), and

d)    any other variation of such description as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection.

The simple rule of thumb is that if you intend adding to or substantially changing the terms of your premises licence, operating plan and/or layout plan, then this will most likely be classed by the licensing board as a major variation.  These types of variations must be decided upon by a full hearing of the licensing board and the fee for taking the variation to the Board is currently £160.00.  If you intend restricting, reducing or amending (and not adding to) any of the terms of your premises licence, operating and/or layout plan this will most likely be classed as a minor variation which can be decided upon by delegation (paragraph 10)n with a fee of £20.00.

Contact our licensing team for further information and assistance.

Get Your Occasional Licence In On Time

We all know the summer months in Argyll and Bute offer a host of local and national events with licensees and other bodies looking to provide alcohol as part of these events.  The sale of alcohol can only take place where an occasional licence has been granted.

So this is just a wee reminder that occasional licence applications must be submitted to the licensing board at least 35 days prior to the event to be licensed.  Applications sent after the 35 day deadline may not be processed which will mean that alcohol cannot be sold at the event applied for.  Here is more information on - Occasional Licences

If applying for an occasional licence you should also check with our licensing team whether your event will require a Public Entertainment Licence (PEL). 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I have an off-sales and alcohol is displayed on shelving.  Sometimes I need more space and sometimes keep stock on the floor.  I am told this could be a breach of my licence.  Is that correct?

A. You can only display alcohol in the area depicted on your Layout Plan within your Premises Licence.  If the floor area is not within the Layout Plan then you could be in breach of the licence.

Q.  I want to run a tasting event/promotion within my off sales shop and sell wines whisky etc. at discount prices for this event can I do this okay?

A.  if tasting is to become a normal part of business then we recommend you include this as an additional activity at(5f) within your Operating Plan.  Any promotion within the shop must be carried out within your authorised display area and any alcohol promotion in terms of price change, must last for at least 72 hours.  In  terms of flyers, ‘A’ Boards, or other external advertising, these cannot be distributed/displayed within 200metres of the shop. However you can mention alcohol price changes (72 hours) on Facebook or in a newspaper article etc.

Q. Is it now a requirement in law to offer wine in the 125 measure?

A. The simple answer is no,  it is not a legal requirement but is a Scottish Government Alcohol Industry partnership initiative to encourage the trade to offer this measure with regards to the Public Health Objective.  You can find further information here.  

Personal licence refresher training and accredited trainers

The refreshing of personal licences in an ongoing process and information on refresher training and local accredited trainers can be found here. 

Update - Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) is providing refresher training courses at its Glasgow offices on Tuesday 2nd June; Tuesday 7th July and Tuesday 4th August 2015.  Further information and contact details 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.


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