Licensing Standards Newsletter - September 2015

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our September 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.  

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 Tuesday 17th November 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 – 6th October;

Notice of Applications (on Council website) – 13th October; 

Last date for objections and representations – 3rd November.

This is the last licensing board meeting of 2015. Contact the Council’s licensing team for more information. 

Licence Conditions

We continue our look at the national mandatory licence conditions attached to your premises licence and what they mean in practical terms to the running of your 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 4:

Condition 4 – The Designated Premises Manager (DPM)

This Condition advises that alcohol must not be sold on premises where there is no DPM; or where the DPM does not hold a personal licence; or where the personal licence held by the DPM is suspended; or where the licensing qualification held by the DPM is not appropriate in relation to the premises.  In summary, there must be a DPM who has a valid and appropriate personal licence.  (Except for licensed clubs where a DPM is not required).

We will look at Condition 5 next month.

Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015

As indicated in theAugust Newsletter, the Air Weapons and Licensing Bill received Royal assent on 4th August 2015 and awaits a commencement order before coming into force. 

The Act will legislate on the following alcohol licensing matters:

  • The addition of young persons In the licensing objective “Protecting Children from Harm.”
  • Statements of Licensing Policy
  • The fit and proper person test
  • Transfers of premises licences
  • Relevant offences and foreign offences
  • Supply of alcohol to a child or young person
  • Other miscellaneous provisions including powers of licensing standards officers

We will look at each in future newsletters, in the meantime the whole of the 2015 Act can be viewed here.

Premises Licences - payment of annual fees

This is a 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 and further information can be obtained by contacting the Council’s licensing 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.   

Premises Licence Holders should ensure that their premises addresses are up-to-date with any changes being notified to the licensing board.

Overprovision – Licensing Board consultation

Argyll and Bute Licensing Board is consulting on proposed changes to its policy on the overprovision of licensed premises. The Board has assessed a range of information including alcohol-related health and crime data which has identified five areas as possible locations where any future policy on alcohol licence overprovision would apply – Dunoon, Oban, Helensburgh, Rothesay and Campbeltown. If adopted the policy would mean there was a presumption against granting new premises licences in the localities on the grounds that it was inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives unless an applicant could demonstrate to the Board that granting the application would not undermine the licensing objectives. The next step in the process is to gather the views of a wide range of people including licensees, the community, young people, Police Scotland, NHS Highland, and elected members of Argyll and Bute Council. The Board has commissioned Iconic Consulting to carry out this consultation on their behalf and report back on the findings by the end of October 2015.  To gather the views of licensees a series of meetings is being held exclusively for existing licence holders. These meetings will take place as follows:

Oban – Monday 5th October

Dunoon - Tuesday 6th October

Rothesay – Wednesday 7th October

Helensburgh – Thursday 8th October

Campbeltown – Wednesday 14th October

The meetings will explain further what the proposals mean, why they are being proposed, and also seek the licensees’ views on the proposals. Iconic Consulting will send out invitations to all local licensees in the near future. If you have questions please contact Ian Clark at Iconic Consulting on or 0131 627 0070. If you are unable to make the meeting in your area you will still be able to contribute to the consultation process either by contacting Iconic Consulting or by contacting the Licensing Board.

Further information on overprovision can be found in the Argyll and Bute Licensing Board Policy Statement 2013 - 2016 at Section 6.

 Frequently asked questions

Q. I run a small convenience store and sell alcohol.  Can you explain the rules on the display of alcohol and alcohol promotions on my premises?”

A.  This is an involved piece of the 2005 Act and you should seek legal advice.  In summary,Licence condition 13 covers the “Display, or promotion of the sale, of alcohol for consumption off the premises” and here are the requirements as they relate to your type of store:

  1. Alcohol can be displayed in a single area agreed between the licensing board and yourself and/or a single area inaccessible to the public (e.g. behind a counter).  These areas must be depicted in your layout plan and will include the total area in square metres given over to the display;
  2. Any drinks promotion can only take place in the above areas or a room set aside for tastings;
  3. A drinks promotion in connection with your premises (including external advertising, flyers, etc.) may not take place in the vicinity of your premises (vicinity meaning within 200 metres of the boundary of your premises);
  4. There are limits on what can be displayed along with alcohol in the single area agreed with the licensing board.  Products that can be displayed include non-alcoholic drinks; products packaged with and can be purchased along with alcohol; a branded non-alcoholic product; or a newspaper, magazine or other publication.

Further information on off sales of alcohol can be found here.

Q. Is there a list anywhere which details the number of licensed premises in my area?

A. The 2005 Act requires that each licensing board has a duty to keep a licensing register containing information relating to - premises licences, personal licences and occasional licences issued by the Board; the Board’s decisions in relation to applications made to the Board; and other decisions made by the Board in relation to premises licences, personal licences and occasional licences.  The Argyll and Bute Licensing Board’s Licensing Register can be found here.   Further information on licensing register legislation can be found 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 can be found here. 

Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) is providing refresher training courses at its Glasgow offices on Tuesday 13 October, Tuesday 3 November, 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.