Licensing Standards Newsletter - November 2017

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our November 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. 

On-trade festive licensing hours 2017

As in previous years the licensing board has set the period during which extended hours applications from on-trade premises will be considered.

Festive Season Trading

We hope this period will be financially successful for the trade and that your customers, and your staff, enjoy themselves in a safe and inviting atmosphere.  Here are 10 tips to assist in making this Festive Season special:

  1. If possible have a personal licence holder on duty at all times. 
  2. Ensure staff, especially part-time or casual staff, are fully trained and authorised to sell alcohol and are fully aware of age verification requirements.  They should also be explicitly informed of their responsibilities.
  3. If you’re expecting large numbers consider additional stewarding both on the door and within your premises.
  4. If you’re expecting large numbers consider advising the police beforehand so they are prepared to deal with the numbers on the street at the terminal hour.
  5. Maintain a “clean” event – clear glasses, bottles and tables regularly to reduce the possibility of such items being used as weapons.  Consider using plastic or toughened glasses.
  6. Monitor your customers’ drinking and be prepared to take early action to reduce drunkenness and violence. 
  7. Be consistent in approach if refusing service.
  8. At the end of the evening clearly call last orders.  Consider bringing up the lighting and offer soft drinks and teas/coffees to encourage customers to move on at the end of licensed hours.
  9. Be a good neighbour.  Monitor smokers to reduce large numbers congregating outside your premises.  Remember the licensing board has made no concessions for smokers in its Festive Policy curfews.  
  10. Be a good neighbour.  Have a dispersal policy that staff and stewards are aware of which will quickly and safely vacate customers from the premises at the end of the night. Consider laying on transport.

 Licensing Board Statement of Policy

Read the Argyll and Bute Licensing Board policy document here.  Each month we will continue to look at each section in summary.  This month we look at Section 23: Duplication with Other Licensing Regimes and Section 24: Relationship with other strategies.

Section 23: Duplication with Other Licensing Regimes -

The Board is committed to avoiding duplication with other regulatory regimes so far as possible and will not use its powers under the 2005 Act to arrive at outcomes that can be more effectively achieved under other legislation or by other enforcement agencies.

Section 24: Relationship with other strategies -

The Board will endeavour to secure proper integration with other strategies, including –

  • Local crime prevention
  • Alcohol and drugs strategy
  • Community safety
  • Joint Health Protection Plan
  • Planning
  • Transport
  • Tourism
  • Equality and
  • Cultural strategies.

Next time, in our final instalment, we will look at the four Annexes to the statement.

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.

Prohibition of unauthorised sale of alcohol on moving vehicles– Section 118

A person who sells alcohol on or from a vehicle at a time when the vehicle is not parked (whether permanently or temporarily) commits an offence, unless the selling of alcohol on or from the vehicle at such a time is expressly authorised by a premises licence or occasional licence in respect of the vehicle.  A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or both.

Delivery of alcohol from vehicles etc. – Section 119

It is an offence to deliver alcohol unless a day book recording the order is kept on the premises from where the alcohol was despatched; and a delivery book or invoice is carried by the person delivering the alcohol.  In addition the information required to be entered in the above is, the quantity, description and price of the alcohol; and the name and address of the person to whom the alcohol is to be delivered.

A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, (currently £1000.00).

“Alcohol” does not include any alcohol being delivered to a trader for the purposes of that person's trade.

Supreme Court backs Minimum Unit Pricing

The Supreme Court as handed down its judgement in relation to Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in favour of the Scottish Government.

Consequently, the BBC News website advises that the Scottish Government has announced that MUP will be introduced on 1st May next year, and that although a 50p MUP is expected, a consultation will be held to confirm if this price is appropriate.

The calculation to establish a minimum unit price is here. 

Unlicensed streaming

We previously provided information on the pitfalls of playing live or recorded music or television sports channels on licensed premises without being licensed to do so.  This article in the 30th October edition of ‘The Publican’s Morning Advertiser’ expands on this in relation to streaming and how the various licensing bodies have licensed premises in their sights for court action.  So be aware, unlike live performance, the streaming of any media (even in the remotest Areas of Argyll and Bute) can be easily detected.

Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC)

We advised in last month’s Newsletter of the changes to the broadcast of film in licensed premises.  The Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) has provided this FAQs page.  

Alcohol Focus Scotland newsletter

You can access the October newsletter here 

Drinking outwith licensing hours

This is a reminder to established licensees and a warning to new licensees that it is an offence, punishable on conviction with a fine of up to £1000.00, to allow the sale, consumption of and taking away of alcohol outwith licensed hours from any licensed premises.  Full details on the  prohibition of sale, consumption and taking away of alcohol outwith licensed hours can be viewed here.   This effectively outlaws staff having a drink at the end of core hours, or ‘lock-ins’ for friends.

In addition to any criminal proceedings, the licensing board may also convene a review hearing of the Premises licence and personal licence of the designated premises manager (DPM) and any other personal licence holders working on the premises at the time, which could result in sanctions.

Licensing Awards 2017

Congratulations to Neil Morrison, owner of MacGochan’s in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, The Lochside on Islay and The Benleva in Drumnadrochit, for being named Entrepreneur of the Year, and for winning the Independent Pub/Bar of the Year award for MacGochan’s, at the recent Scottish Licensed Trade News [SLTN] Awards, and  

Congratulations also go to Iain Jurgensen and the team at Portavadie Marinafor winning the Best Marina award at the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards 2017. 

The ‘Wee Bar’

Bars come in all shapes and sizes! Good luck to the Kilberry Inn with this innovation.

Your questions answered

Q. “I am the Designated Premises manager and leaseholder of a Hotel, but I am not the premises licence holder.  I have had difficulty recently in making my rent payments, and now the premises licence holder is threatening to cancel the premises licence.  Do you have any advice you can offer?

A. The licensee is entitled to cancel (or surrender) the premises licence at any time.  That said, I suggest –

  • Seeking legal advice in relation to the substance of the lease agreement;
  • Making contact with the licensee to discuss the situation and confirm his proposals in relation to the premises licence; and
  • Try to pay what you owe as soon as possible to remove the possibility of the premises licence being cancelled.  If you cannot pay the outstanding rent, talk to the licensee to explore alternatives to cancelling the licence.  Good luck.

Q. “Our licensed club is holding a Christmas Party this year.  Our licensed hours are normally 11:00am to Midnight, but we would like to open until 1:00am.  Can we do this?  And can you advise on the rules for guests of members attending? 

A.There are two ways to extend a Club licence to 1:00am.  The first is to apply to the licensing board for anExtended Hours Licence, although this licence can be constraining for a licensed club because Club Regulations in relation to those entering the club continue during the extended period (basically no person is to be supplied with alcohol unless they are a member or guest of a member and a member must sign in and accompany any guest).

The second is to apply for an Occasional Licence, which allows more flexibility because this licence comes with its own set of conditions which supersede the Club’s licensing conditions for the period of the licence, meaning the Club can be ‘opened up’ without the need to sign in.

Licensing Board meetings dates 2018

Here are the 2018 licensing board meeting dates. 

Personal Licence Statutory 10 year Renewals

All personal licence holders whose licences were issued on or after  1st September in  2009 should be aware that the requirement to renew their licences starts in 2018.  The law requires that if a personal licence holder wishes to renew their licence they must do so, by application to the licensing board, no earlier than 1st September 2018 and no later than 1st June 2019.

This may seem a long way away, but as it will affect around 500 personal licence holders, in Argyll and Bute,  in the first batch, training courses will be at a premium.  Licensing Standards urges all personal licence holders affected to diary the date and make arrangements with accredited trainers to have the training provided.  Failure to renew your personal licence will result in the licensing board revoking your licence.

As yet, the format for training, either the full Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) course or the refresher course, has still to be decided on by the  Scottish Government but Section 78 of the 2005 Act makes clear that the renewal application process will be the same as the original personal licence application in that the applicant will be required to successfully complete the full SCPLH course and submit a copy of the pass certificate together with the personal licence application form, two passport photographs and the application fee of £50.00 [fifty pounds].  Should this change we will update this advice.

A recent article on this in the ‘Scottish Licensed Trade News’ can be viewed here.

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.  

It is unfortunate that the licensing board still has to revoke personal licences at each licensing board meeting.  On average 20 licences are revoked at each meeting, simply because the licence holder has not refreshed their licence and/or advised the Board within statutory timescales.  Many licences to be revoked are held by Designated Premises Managers (DPMs) having ramifications for premises selling alcohol.

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.