Question 4 Responses
54. The fourth question was:
Are you aware of any examples of good practice relative to the Licensing (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2007? If so, please provide details below.
55. Fifteen of the respondents replied “Yes” and twenty nine said “No”. Six of the respondents did not respond to this question.
56. This question allowed respondents an opportunity to provide examples of good practice for the Scottish Government to consider. Twenty two of those who responded made comments or provided further details/examples, which included –
- Some Licensing Boards are using the “Tell Me Scotland” website to publicise liquor applications although the standard notice format available at present is limited. The advantage of the Tell Me Scotland website for the public is that they can register an interest in a particular geographical area and receive alerts by text message or email to any notices affecting that area.
- A local business in East Ayrshire actively sought the views of its customers, the public and local community, on whether it should apply to the board for an alcohol license. It achieved this, quite successfully, by posting on its Facebook page. People then commented underneath giving their views.
- a prospective alcohol license applicant asked their potential future customer base to complete a questionnaire via survey monkey which asked about their opinion about the current activity/ leisure activity on offer in the area of their proposed new premises. i.e. actively seeking the views and opinions of people before going forward with any licensing applications to the relevant board authority.
- Some local authorities have taken steps to train community groups in how the Licensing Boards work. This has proved beneficial for those who attend.
- South Lanarkshire Licensing Board has introduced an "opt-in" list to enable the Board to notify persons on that list of any applications for new grants and/or major variations of premises licences in their area. Applications are still advertised on the Council website in the usual manner.
- some licensing board areas currently provide a pro-forma for objectors to assist them in relating their objections to the grounds for refusal. In addition, some boards also provide information on how to object to or make a representations on a licence application.
- Objections/representations have been received by East Ayrshire Licensing Board in respect of applications therefore the procedure appears to work. Extending neighbour notifications to 10m would allow for further community involvement.
- City of Edinburgh uses 10 metres as the radius to define "neighbouring land" - still not wide enough but better than specified in provision 4(a).
- No effective review of licences when there has been cases of disturbance and illicit activities taking place on licensed premises.
- Licensing Standards Officers (LSOs) in Aberdeenshire visit sites to ensure that site notices are displayed.
- Aberdeenshire Licensing Boards endeavour to give the earliest possible notice of objections and representations to applicants. This means that it is often possible for LSOs to mediate between parties and arrive at mutually acceptable solutions which can mean that all contentious matters are resolved prior to applications coming before the Boards.
- Occasional licences are monitored as to how an event is going to be run. i.e. if a door person is to be on duty.
- The Law Society of Scotland stated “Licensing boards are very experienced in dealing with public interaction, whether they are supportive or otherwise. There are good practice examples across the country where licensing boards will ensure that people seeking to make a representation can do so sensibly. Many of these boards will issue guidance notes about how a licensing hearing is conducted, such as the order of who will be asked to speak and what material may be irrelevant. At hearings there are numerous examples of board members ensuring that people who have lodged representations are given time to make their point in surroundings which may be intimidating or unnatural for many. These good practices have developed over many years of administration of the licensing system. We are not aware of any suggestion that this has fallen into disrepute”.
- UK Hospitality stated “The licensed trade has a range of good practice related to general licensing which has been developed over the years relating to underage sales, unit awareness etc. and continues to be involved with numerous best practice schemes such as pubwatches, Best Bar None, and Business Improvement Districts across Scotland. As highlighted above, we are of the view that well-developed guidance and proven partnership working between all parties involved in licensing, is the most effective way of safeguarding the licensing objectives and maintaining a vibrant hospitality sector in Scotland”.
Email: Alex Kelly
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