Licensing Standards Newsletter - October 2015

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our October 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.  

ContactEric 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

The Argyll and Bute Licensing Board has published its extended hours policy for the Festive period 2015.

Premises licence holders are reminded that applications for Extended Hours Licencesmust be made at least 35 days prior to the date of when the licence has to take effect and each application must provide a full description of the activities taking place on the premises during the period of extended hours.  Failure to fully explain the application may lead to the application being returned or refused.

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 look at Conditions 5:

Condition 5 – Authorisation to sell alcohol 

This Condition requires that every sale of alcohol made on the premises must be authorised (whether generally or specifically) by the Premises Manager or other Personal Licence Holder.  In Argyll and Bute it is expected that the Authorisation will be given in writing and a copy Authorisation to sell Alcohol. Licensing Standards recommends that the completed Authorisation be kept with training records and available for inspection.

It should be noted that licensed clubs are exempted from this condition by virtue of Section 125 of the 2005 Act.

We will look at Condition 6 next month.

Unannounced Premises Inspections - an update

In our April newsletter we advised that we would be carrying out a series of unannounced premises inspections during this inspection cycle.  These have been quite enlightening.  The most striking aspect of these visits is that where there is no premises manager on duty during the unannounced inspection many staff members were unable to locate the statutory documents and notices required to be kept and displayed on the premises.

This is a plea to licensees and premises managers to ensure that all staff are aware of where to lay hands on these documents and notices, because failure to produce them is an offence and could lead to a premises licence review hearing and sanctions being imposed under that review. 

Premises Licences – payment of annual fees

This is a further reminder from the Argyll and Bute Licensing Board to all premises licence holders that payment of annual fees is due each October.  Each premises licence holder will be contacted by the licensing board at least 30 days prior to the date on which the fees are due advising of the fee amount.  Further information can be obtained by contacting the Licensing Board team here.  Failure to pay the annual fees is a breach of licence condition 10 and could lead to a review of premises licence and sanctions being imposed under that review.   

In addition, premises licence holders should ensure their premises details, including premises name; address and premises manager information, are up-to-date, with any changes being notified to the licensing board.

Here is a request from the Licensing Board Team for information - The team has received annual fee payments from three separate premises by the names of BAN Ltd; Potters Old Mill and ROT.  The licensing board has never issued premises licences in these names and the licensing team were wondering if these premises have changed names recently without advising the Board.  Do these names mean anything to any of our subscribers?  If so, please contact licensing standards on 01546-604317...Thanks.

The perfect response to a bad Trip Advisor® review?

The trade paper, The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, recently  ran an article on responding to bad reviews on Trip Advisor, as highlighted by the Trip Advisor’s Director of Partnerships Gweneal Merlin. Given that Trip Advisor® is a fact of life for the hospitality sector some of the hints in the article may be useful and include:

ü  Deal with issues as they happen;

ü  Deal with them quickly and politely;

ü  Use positivity and originality when responding; and

ü  Keep calm in the face of a negative review

All pretty standard stuff for experienced outlets but worth re-emphasising nonetheless.

 Frequently asked questions

Q.  I’ve heard there is a licensing forum in the area and was wondering if you could give me some information?  I am a licensee.

A.  Yes there is.  The Argyll and Bute Local Licensing Forum (LLF) is a statutory body set up some years ago under Sections 10 and 11 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. The general functions of the LLF are to:

a)    keep under review:

  • the operation of the 2005 Act in the Forum's area; and,
  • in particular, the exercise by the Licensing Board of its functions, and

b)    give such advice and make such recommendations to the Board in relation to those

       matters as the Forum considers appropriate.

So far as possible membership of the LLF should broadly reflect the local population and could include – premises licensees and personal licence holders; police; persons having functions relating to health, education or social work; young people; and residents from within the LLF’s area.

Q.  I am looking to convert a disused local property into a pub.  This will be a major project and may not be completed for some time.  What do I need to do in relation to obtaining a liquor licence?

A.  Section 45 of the 2005 Act allows a Provisional Premises Licence application to be made to the licensing board despite the fact that, at the time the application is made, the premises are yet to be, or are in the course of being, constructed or converted for use as licensed premises.  You should be aware that a premises licence issued in respect of any such premises does not take effect unless and until it is confirmed by the Licensing Board which issued it.  The licensing board will only agree to confirmation where the necessary consents have been obtained confirming the premises as a safe place to resort.  The provisional period is 4 years beginning with the date of issue of the licence and the licence must be confirmed within this period.

You can find further information on the premises licenceand it is strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of a licensing solicitor with any provisional application.

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 can be found here. 

Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) is providing refresher training courses at its Glasgow offices on Tuesday 3 November, and Tuesday 1 December 2015.  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.