Licensing Standards Newsletter - March 2017

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our March Newsletter.  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.

Previous Newsletters

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. 

Licensing Board Statement of Policy 2013-2016

The current policy document can be viewed and downloaded here and each month we look at each section in summary.  This month we will look at Section 15 Policy on Outside Areas -

In any outside area, whether or not applicants propose to provide outside seating, tables and other facilities (covered or otherwise), regard should be had to the need to ensure that the use of such areas will not cause disturbance or nuisance to the occupiers of premises in the vicinity.

If no significant issues are identified, the default terminal hour for outside areas will be 10:00pm. but for children and young persons will be 8:00pm. However if any significant issues are identified the Board may decide to impose an earlier terminal hour or to require the implementation of effective management controls in the interests of public order or public safety.

The Board expects an operating plan to include or exclude the use of an outside area. If included, effective management controls, supervision and other measures to ensure that the use of the area by patrons does not have a negative impact on the vicinity should be incorporated within the operating plan.

Depending on the location, nature and size of the premises, licence holders may be required to delineate the outside area by some appropriate means such as a wall, bollards, markers etc., to distinguish between licensed premises and public areas. Conditions as determined by the Board relating to the specific circumstances of the premises will be attached to any grant; this may include the exclusion of the use of glassware within the area after a specified time each evening.

Next time we will look at Section 16 – Procedures for Applications, Objections, Hearings.

Licensing Scotland Act 2005 - Offences

The 2005 Act regulates the sale and supply of alcohol and determines what is legal and illegal in this respect.  We thought you may benefit from knowing the offences the police will be looking at in terms of licensed premises. The Premises Licence Holder, the Designated Premises Manager and staff should consider the importance of due diligence within premises.  Each month we will outline in summary a couple of offences.  Click on the links for full details.

For the purposes of the 2005 Act, a child is aged from infant to 15 years and a young person is aged 16 or 17 years:

Sale of liqueur confectionery to a child – Section 104

A person who sells liqueur confectionery to a child commits an offence.  It is a defence for a person charged with this offence to show that he believed the child to be aged 16 or over, and, either he had taken reasonable steps to establish the child's age, or no reasonable person could have suspected from the child's appearance that the child was aged under 16.

Reasonable steps have been taken to establish the child's age only if the person accused was shown evidence of the child's age, and that evidence would have convinced a reasonable person.

Purchase of alcohol by or for a child or young person – Section 105

A child or young person who buys or attempts to buy alcohol (whether for himself or herself or another person) commits an offence.  It is not an offence for a child or young person to buy or attempt to buy alcohol if the child or young person is authorised to do so by the chief constable for the purpose of determining whether an offence is being committed under section 102 – sale of alcohol to a child or young person.

A person other than a child or young person who knowingly buys or attempts to buy alcohol on behalf of a child or young person, or for consumption on relevant premises by a child or young person, commits an offence. No offence is committed by that person when buying beer, wine, cider or perry for consumption by a young person along with a meal supplied on relevant premises.

Licensing Standards Inspection Programme 2017-18

The Licensing Standards programme of inspections continues from April 1st  2017.

The purpose of each inspection is threefold:

a)    To confirm the licence holder, premises manager, and staff are fully aware of their responsibilities under the 2005 Act;

b)    To confirm the premises complies with the 2005 Act in relation to statutory notices display and documents to be kept on the premises; and

c)    To confirm mandatory staff training is in place and documented.

Of the above,staff training continues to cause some concern.In Argyll and Bute it is expected that the syllabus used to train staff will be available for inspection.  It is not sufficient only to produce the training declaration document during any licensing standards inspection without reference to the training materials used.  Unfortunately not all premises have had the training materials to hand during inspections.

During inspections staff knowledge may be tested in relation to training provided including age verification / challenge25.

The Licensing Standards Licensees Advice Pack gives more information on this.

Your questions answered

Q. Can you tell me what notices I am required to display on my premises?

A.This will depend on whether your premises are an off-sales premises or an on-sales premises:

Off-Sales – there is only one notice required by law to be displayed and this is called the “Section 110” notice.  This notice, which should be public facing at the point of sale of alcohol on your premises, details that alcohol will not be sold to persons under 18 years of age.

On-Sales –there are two notices required by law to be displayed: the “Section 110” notice and the Children’s Notice.  There are two styles of Children’s Notice, and the one to be displayed will depend on whether or not children and young persons are allowed access to your premises. 

Copies of the above notices and further information on display requirements can be found in our Licensing Standards Licensees Advice Pack.  We recommend you frame or laminate these notices.

Challenge 25 -Although not a legal requirement we also recommend you display at least one Challenge 25 poster on your premises.  This poster it a visual reminder to customers that you operate an age verification policy on your premises and copies of the Challenge 25 poster can be downloaded here.

Q. I am a licensee and my premises have ceased to trade in alcohol. Do I still need to pay the annual licensing fees?

A. Have you told the licensing board? The Licensing (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 covers all aspects of licensing fees and Regulation 7 clearly states that; Where a premises licence is in effect or is suspended, the holder of that licence must make payment of an annual fee...” As you have not surrendered your licence to the Board, or had the licence revoked by the Board, or transferred the licence on, you are still regarded in law as the premises licence holder and are liable for payment under Regulation 7. You may wish to consider your position and whether retaining the licence is a viable option. Also, you should be aware that failure to pay annual fees is a breach of condition 10 attached to your premises licence and could lead to your licence being suspended or revoked by the Board.

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. 

Personal licence holders are reminded that failure to undergo refresher training and submit the pass certificate to the licensing board within statutory timescales will result in your personal licence being revoked.A total of 27 personal licencesare due to be revoked at the February Board meeting.  Please contact the Council’s licensing Board Team for more information on what is required.

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.