Licensing Standards Newsletter - June 2015

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our June newsletter.  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 team for information on licensing applications; applying for a licence or for an update on your licensing application.

Next Licensing Board meeting and cut-off dates

The next meeting of the Argyll and Bute Licensing Board will be held at 11:00am on Thursday 3rd September 2015 within the Council Chamber.

If you intend making an application, or making an objection or representation, you should note the following cut off dates:

Last lodging date for applications – 23rd July.

Notice of Applications (on Council website) – 30th July.

Last date for objections and representations – 20th August.

Contact the Council’s licensing team for more information.

Attending a Licensing Board hearing – what to expect

What should you expect if you are attending a licensing board hearing? This topic is for all those who have to attend a licensing board hearing, whether it is for a licensing application to be heard; or to make an objection or representation in relation to an application; or whether you are involved in a premises licence or personal licence review hearing.

The format of all types of hearings is broadly similar:

Licensing application- the Board Chair will invite the applicant or applicant’s agent to describe the application.  Then the licensing standards officer will comment and finally the police will make comment.  If there are no objections or representations the board will rule on the application on the information provided.  Where there are objectors to the application or persons who wish to be heard in relation to the application, then these will be heard prior to any ruling.  When all have been heard, the board may grant the application; or refuse the application; or instruct that the application be granted with conditions or amendments.  In some cases if the Board is not satisfied that the application(or a part thereof) meets the requirements of legislation, it may require the applicant to reconsider the application and bring it back amended as a new application.

Objections & representations – full information on making an objection or representation can be found here.  

Premises licence reviews – a premises licence review is held where it is alleged that a premises has breached one or more of the licensing conditions or one or more of the licensing objectives.  Anyone can request a premises licence review and when the review application comes before the Board the person making the review application will speak first; then any reports to the board by the licensing standards officer, police or other bodies, etc., will be heard; and then the premises licence holder or agent of the premises subject to the review application will be heard.  Once all have been heard, the Board will make its ruling, which can be to - issue a written warning to the licence holder; make a variation to the licence (e.g. reduce trading hours); suspend the licence; or revoke the licence.  More information on premises licence reviews can be found here.

Personal licence reviews – personal licence review hearings are held where the conduct of the personal licence holder has been inconsistent with the licensing objectives and is usually brought before the Board by the police under Section 84A of the 2005 Act due to the licence holder being convicted in a court of law.  The procedures for this type of hearing are similar to a premises licence review hearing above.

What is a Local Licensing Forum?

ALocal Licensing Forum’srole is to keep under review the operation of the Licensing Act in the Forum area and to give advice and make recommendations to the Board in relation to those matters as the Forum considers appropriate. The Forum is the community's voice on liquor licensing issues. This will be mainly at a policy level as the Forum cannot comment on individual cases coming before the Board. Each Forum will meet at least four times a year and will have one joint meeting with the Board each year. Forum meetings are open to the press and public.

A Forum is to consist of such number of members (being not fewer than 5 and not more than 21) as the relevant council may determine.  At least one of the members must be a Licensing Standards Officer for the council's area.  In appointing members of a Forum, the council must seek to ensure so far as possible that the membership of the Forum is representative of the interests of persons or descriptions of persons who have an interest which is relevant to the Forum's general functions and could include licensees; police; health; social work; education and young people. 

If you are interested in joining the Argyll and Bute Local Licensing Forum, you should Contact licensing standards or the Council’s licensing team.

Alcohol Training for Voluntary Organisations

We have been contacted by a local Councillor asking if there is any training available for those in voluntary organisations who may be called upon to sell or serve alcohol at an organisation’s licensed event.

Although it should be noted that there is no requirement under the 2005 Act for the training of voluntary organisations, it is commendable that voluntary organisations would want to be so trained.  The following are accredited trainers in Argyll and Bute have shown an interest in running training courses and here is information on Trainingand thesubjects to be covered during the training:

Lynn Nicolson, Ben Lomond Training and Consultancy (Based in Arrochar)
Tel: 01301 702309 
Mobile 07771 551948

Nigel Ashworth, Argyll Training Limited (Based in Dunoon)
Tel: 01369 704586

Sheila Baird, Environmental Consultancy and Training (ENCAT) (Based Lochgilphead) –
Tel: 01546 602628   
Mobile: 07786 063944

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I refuse entry to my premises?

A. The simple answer is yes.  However, the refusal must not be discriminatory, based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, etc.  Licensees and staff have a duty to promote the licensing objectives and if entry would contravene these objectives then refusal would be lawful.  Here is a recent article on refusing entry published in the trade paper The Publican’s Morning Advertiser. 

Q. I have been asked to run bingo on my premises.  Can I do this?

A. Yes.  The Gambling Act 2005 allows the playing of bingo on licensed premises and members clubs.  There are rules regulating the form the bingo must take including size of prizes and bingo games being open to adults only (persons 18 years and over).  Further information can be found here. In addition you must have bingo recorded in your premises licence operating plan as an allowable activity.  If you don’t have it recorded you must make a major variation application to the licensing board to have it included.

Q. I’m holding a wine tasting event in a local hall.  Entry is by ticket only costing £10.00 each.  Will I need an occasional licence to cover this event?

A.  Yes.  Section 3 of The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 dictates that a supply of alcohol is to be treated as a sale where the right to the alcohol is acquired under a contract. So, by charging entry to this event you are forming a contract with each entrant and although you are not charging directly for the wine you are charging indirectly through the ticket price and thus requiring the event to be licensed. 

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.

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.