Licensing Standards Newsletter - December 2016

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our December Newsletter.  The newsletter is free and you can get it direct to your inbox by selecting 'licensing newsletter' on the right of the Council website homepage,  then add your e-mail address and click Subscribe.

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.

Licensing standards wishes all subscribers the best over the Festive Season.

Previous Newsletters

We maintain a library of previous Newsletters which can be accessed via our web page should you wish another look.

Licensing Board Statement of Policy 2013-2016

The current policy document can be viewed and downloaded hereand each month we look at each section in summary.  This month we will look at Section12 – Public Awareness Materials.   The following is the policy statement summarised:

Public Awareness Materials

Safe Limits and drink-driving - Licensees are encouraged to use materials such as posters, beer mats etc. which promote moderate consumption of alcohol along with awareness of units of alcohol and the recommended guidelines – e.g. a wine list would state how many units in a 125ml, 175 ml and 250ml glass and relate that to the daily/weekly recommended limits. Most of these materials are available from health boards and connected associations free of charge.

Drink-driving can have a catastrophic effect on families and licensed establishments can play a part in prevention by displaying anti drink-driving materials, supplying reasonably priced soft drinks, promoting awareness of campaigns such as designated driver schemes and offering free soft drinks to designated drivers.

You can also visit the UK.Gov Think!  website for more information and printable posters.

Next Month we will look at Section 13 – Access by Children and Young Persons to Licensed Premises.

Young Scot Card

We are carrying out an exercise on behalf of the Argyll and Bute Local Licensing Forum to confirm whether licensed premises in the area accept the Young Scot Card as acceptable proof of age.  As you will be aware, the following are the only acceptable proof of age documents which can be used in Scotland:

ü  A Passport;

ü  A European Union photocard driving licence;

ü  A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card);

ü  A photographic identity card bearing the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) hologram;

ü  A national identity card issued by a European Union member state (other than the United Kingdom), Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland; or

ü  A Biometric Immigration Document

The Young Scot Card contains the PASS hologram and therefore can be accepted as proof of age.

If you wish to comment on what you accept as proof of age or your experience of the Young Scot Card please contact Eric Dearie at 

We will also be contacting licensed premises direct to get their views.

We advised on Age Verification requirements in the March 2015 Newsletter and will revisit these in the January 2017 Newsletter.


#KeepXmasSafe is Police Scotland’s 2016 Festive Safety Campaign which provides advice on various aspects of keeping safe over the Festive Season, including online safety; shopping and partying safely.  For more information on staying safe visit the Police Scotland website here.

Update on legislation

Here is some information on recent updates to alcohol licensing legislation.

Minimum Unit Pricing

The Court of Session has backed the Scottish government’s plans for minimum pricing.  The Court found that industry claims that the plans were a breach of European Law could not be upheld. However, it is understood that a further appeal to the UK Supreme Court is being considered.  The full judgement can be accessed here.  

Public Entertainment Licensing

If you’re a running an event, say a dance in the village hall, and alcohol is on sale, then usually the only licence required is an occasional licence to cover the sale of the alcohol. However, as of 1st November 2016, The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 restricts the exemption from a public entertainment licence to those premises with a premises licence,.  What this means is that if you are running an event then, in addition to the occasional licence, you may also need a temporary public entertainment licence.  Further advice on this should be sought from the Council’s Licensing Board team.

The new pound coin

HM Treasury & The Royal Mint has provided information on the new £1 coin which will come into circulation in March 2017.  Businesses of all sizes are being encouraged to visit the New Pound Coin website to find out how to get ready for the change, and to download helpful materials to help educate and train staff.  All cash handling businesses should take the following steps before March 2017:

  • Check whether they operate equipment that handles the £1 coin.
  • Contact their equipment supplier to find out if they need to make any adaptations or upgrades.
  • Make the necessary changes to their coin handling equipment.
  • Train their staff on the features of the new £1 coin.
  • Make arrangements with their bank or cash in transit provider to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin in separate packaging.

Best Bar None Scotland Scheme – ‘The Bar Code’

The Best Bar None Scheme Scotland has published a booklet entitled ‘The Bar Code’ which provides practical information to licensees and staff in running licensed premises in Scotland in accordance with the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.  The booklet covers drunkenness; substance misuse; identifying and dealing with drunk patrons; duty of care; children & young person access and Challenge25requirements. The booklet also recommends that each venue has written policies covering the above.  This is an excellent information resource and a reminder of responsibilities of licensees and staff.

Further information on Best Bar None can be found here.

 Your questions answered

Q. My business is online sales of alcohol.  I don’t sell to the public in a shop.  Will I still need an age verification policy?

A. No. Condition 9A(3) attached to every premises licence advises that the Age Verification Policy does not apply to remote sales of alcohol.  It should be stressed, however, that although an Age Verification Policy need not be in place for the premises where remote sales are despatched, Section 102 (“Sale of alcohol to a child or young persons”) andSection 108 (“Delivery of alcohol by or to a child or young person”) of the 2005 Act still make it an offence to sell or deliver alcohol to persons under 18 years of age.  So you will need to ensure the courier service delivering your alcohol is aware of the requirements of the 2005 Act and only delivers the alcohol to persons 18 years of age or over.

Q. I have been asked by my customers to host live music nights on my premises.  Is this OK?  Is there anything I need to do to make sure the music nights are legal?

A. This will depend on what activities have been agreed with the licensing board and the “allowable activities” recorded on the premises licence operating plan.  As we have said before, if it is not recorded in the operating plan then it is not an allowable activity. A check should be made at Question 5 of the operating plan and look for Yes or Y recorded at “Live Performance”.  If No or N is recorded live music is not allowed and a major variation application must be applied for to have it included.  Only when it is included can you have live music nights.

You may also require licences from Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL)and the  Performing Rights Society (PRS)

We covered this type of licensing in our April 2015 Newsletter which can be accessed here.

Licensing Board meetings dates 2017

Here are the 2017 licensing board meetings dates.

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, or, if you are having difficulty opening any of the links - 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.