5. LICENSING POLICY STATEMENT
Presumption against prohibition on off-sales to under 21s
5.1 Licensing Boards are required by section 6 of the 2005 Act to publish a licensing policy statement every three years and they may also publish a supplementary licensing policy statement during the three year period. Section 9 of the Alcohol Act amends the 2005 to prohibit Licensing Boards from stating in their licensing policy statement, or supplementary licensing policy statement, that they intend to introduce a prohibition on the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises to those over 18 but under 21, whether in relation to some or all premises in their area. Licensing Boards are not prevented from imposing licence conditions restricting off-sales of alcohol to persons aged under 21 but are prevented from including such a policy in their licensing policy statement or supplementary licensing policy statement. This provision will apply to licensing policy statements or supplementary licensing policy statements published on or after 1 October 2011.
Consultation of health boards
5.2 Licensing Boards are required by section 6 of the 2005 Act to publish a licensing policy statement every three years and they are required to consult with various bodies in compiling the statement. They may also publish a supplementary licensing policy statement during the three year period and if they do this they are required to consult various bodies on this. Section 11(2) of the Alcohol Act amends the 2005 Act to add the relevant health board to the bodies the Licensing Board is required to consult when preparing a licensing policy statement or supplementary policy statement. In addition, when preparing such a statement a Licensing Board may request certain statistical data or other information from the relevant health board and that health board is required to provide that information. Section 11(5) defines relevant health board as the health board for the Licensing Board's area or if there is more than one health board for the Licensing Board's area then each of those health boards.
5.3 Section 11(4) amends the 2005 Act to require Licensing Boards to notify the relevant health board of all premises licence applications. By virtue of section 29(4) of the Act, where an application for a variation to a premises licence is required (other than a minor variation), the Licensing Board has to notify the same people as it would be required to notify of a premises application which will now include the relevant health board. However, unlike the Police, the health board as a statutory consultee is not required to offer comment on every application.
5.4 Section 11 also amends the 2005 Act so that Licensing Boards are required to consult the relevant health board when considering whether there is overprovision of licensed premises within its area. Section 11(7) amends the 2005 Act to provide that at least one member of the Local Licensing Forum must be nominated by the health board in a Local Licensing Forum's area. If there is more than one health board in a Local Licensing Forum's area then at least one member of the Local Licensing Forum must be nominated by the health board which covers the larger or largest part of the Local Licensing Forum's area. The maximum number of members of a Local Licensing Forum has been increased from 20 to 21 to allow for an additional member of the Health Board to be appointed (The Licensing (Local Licensing Forum) (Scotland) Order 2011).
Email: alastair bowden