Licensing Standards Newsletter - November 2015

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our November 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 Board Team for information on licensing applications; applying for a licence or for an update on your licensing application.

Licensing Board – festive period extended hours policy

Just a wee reminder of The Argyll and Bute Licensing Board’s festive period 2015 extended hours policy

We advised in the October Newsletter of the extended hours application procedure, and timescale, which has now passed.

Licensing Board Minutes

The licensing board minutes from 2012 to 2015 can be found here.  We will update the newsletter when new minutes are published. 

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 Condition 6:

Condition 6 – Training of staff

This Condition requires that no person (other than a personal licence holder) is to work on licensed premises, whether full time, part time or on a casual basis, in the sale and/or service of alcohol, unless that person has been trained as required under The Licensing (Training of Staff) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.  In effect, this applies to all staff who are not personal licence holders, who must be trained in the ”16 points of licensing” over a period of not less than 2 hours.

The training must be delivered by a personal licence holder or accredited trainer.  Once the training has been provided a staff training declaration must be completed for each staff member trained.  The training declaration must be kept on the premises and available for inspection.  In addition, In Argyll and Bute, it is expected that the training material used to provide the training will also be kept on the premises and be available for inspection.

Finally, it should be noted that although licensed clubs are exempt from the requirement to have a personal licence holder to authorise and supervise the sale of alcohol, they are not exempt from the training requirement and all members involved in the sale and service of alcohol as indicated above must be trained by a personal licence holder or accredited trainer to the required standard indicated above.  Further information can be obtained from Eric or Raymond.

Frequently asked questions

Q.  I’m the licence holder for a pub and some of my regulars have asked about playing poker on the premises.  I’m not keen, but I said I would look into it.  Can you give me some information?  Are there regulations covering this?

A.  The playing of poker in pubs and clubs is allowed and is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005.  Although the playing of poker is legal, there are restrictions and a quick guide on the legislation  can be found here.   The Gambling Commission advises the following:

  1. Seek legal advice before allowing poker on the premises;
  2. You cannot charge a participation fee to play;
  3. There is a maximum value to both the amount that can be staked (£5.00) and the prize that can be offered (£100.00) in each game and stakes must not exceed £100.00 in any trading day;
  4. Poker tournaments and leagues are acceptable with certain restrictions which are fully explained in the Guide.

In addition to the above, Conditions 2 & 3 attached to your premises licence require that alcohol is to be sold and other activities take place on the premises only in accordance with the premises licence operating plan. So if you don’t have Gaming recorded in your operating plan, you will need to make a major variation application to the licensing board to have it included.

A lot to consider and remember it is your responsibility as licensee to supervise all activities that take place on your premises and ensure there is no breach of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

Q. I have sold my business. What’s the position on transferring the premises licence to the new owners?

A. Section 33 of the 2005 Act makes provision for the transfer of a premises licence by the current licence holder to another person.  You should now make a transfer application to the licensing board naming the new owners of the business as the transferee.  Also, if the premises manager will change because of the transfer you should include details of the new premises manager (who must be a personal licence holder) at section 9 on the application form.

Only once the licence has been transferred does the responsibility for the premises and the payment of annual licensing fees transfer to the new owners.

See also Section 34 of the 2005 Act for the provisions of a transfer application by a person other than licence holder.

The licensing standards service recommends that legal advice be sought on the transfer application process and if possible all parties involved maintain a close liaison during the process.S

Personal licence refresher training and accredited trainers

The refreshing of personal licences is an ongoing process and you can find information on refresher training and local accredited trainers here.

We continue to be amazed at the number of licence revocations taking place at each licensing board meeting because personal licence holders have failed in their responsibilities to refresher train.

Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) is providing refresher training courses at its Glasgow offices on Thursday 3 December, Thursday 14 January, Tuesday 16 February, Tuesday 15 March, Thursday 14 April, Tuesday 17 May. Find further information and contact details 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.