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Further Options for Alcohol Licensing - Consultation Paper



Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 - The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed in June 2012 and will pave the way for the introduction of a preferred minimum price of 50p per unit. This is a significant step forward in the Scottish Government's efforts to tackle Scotland's unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

The draft order setting a minimum price of 50p has now been notified to the European Commission. The earliest date for implementation of the minimum price is 2013.

Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010 - the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a range of restrictions on promotions, and required licensed premises to have an age verification policy.

Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 - the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 covered a variety of issues, Part 9 relates to Alcohol licensing, it widened the powers of police and LSOs.

EU Services Directive - transposed into UK legislation by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, the directive sets out how the internal market in relevant services should operate. The aim is to help open up the internal market in services across the EU, increasing employment opportunities and trade.

Fit and Proper test - many licensing regimes include a 'fit and proper' test where the Board determines whether the suitability of the applicant, for example those within the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. The 2005 Act does not include a 'fit and proper' test, in the case of a premises licence, the Board should consider whether the application is inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives, and the police must provide the Board with a notice stating whether the applicant or any connected person has any relevant offences. Relevant offences are detailed in The Licensing (Relevant Offences) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.

JAG on Football - The Joint Action Group (JAG) was established following the Football Summit in March 2011 to develop proposals to deliver the 8 Summit commitments.

The JAG - which had representation from the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Football League, Celtic Football Club, Rangers Football Club, Strathclyde Police and the Scottish Government - carefully considered the commitments and has developed proposals to support their delivery. These proposals are set out in the summit report.

Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 - the 2005 Act followed on from the work of Nicholson and Daniels Committees and replaced the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976. It brought in the Licensing Objectives, and the system of premises and personal licences.

Licensing Act 2003 - the 2003 Act applies to England and Wales and established a single, integrated scheme for licensing premises which are used for the sale or supply of alcohol.

Licensing Board - in technical terms, a Board is a creation separate from the local authority. In practical terms, it consists of local authority councillors, with a local authority clerk, a solicitor or advocate, providing support and legal advice. The Board determines applications, considers variations and holds reviews.

Licensing Conditions - the 2005 Act allows conditions to be attached to a licence (except for a personal licence), there are four types of condition

  • Mandatory conditions - set nationally
  • Late Opening premises conditions - apply to certain premises that are open after 1am
  • Discretionary or pool conditions - suggested conditions that Boards could apply
  • Local conditions - set by Licensing Boards, for example 'childrens conditions'.

Breach of a condition could result in a licence being revoked.

Licensing Forum - each local authority must establish a Licensing Forum, or Forums. The Board is to meet with the Forum at least once each year. The Forum should keep under review the operation of the 2005 Act, the exercise of the Board of their functions, and give advice or recommendations as they feel appropriate.

Licensing Objectives - the 2005 Act set out five licensing objectives, which underpin the Licensing Boards in the discharge of their functions. The five licensing objectives are

  • Preventing crime and disorder
  • Securing public safety
  • Preventing public nuisance
  • Protecting and improving public health
  • Protecting children from harm

LSOs - Licensing Standards Officers are appointed by the local authority for the regulation of the licensed trade. They provide information and guidance, supervise compliance and provide mediation services.

Off-trade - premises that are authorised to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, such as shops and off-licences

On-trade - premises that are authorised to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, such as restaurants, bars and pubs.

Personal Licence Holder - under the 2005 Act, each sale of alcohol under a premises licence, must be made under the authority of a personal licence holder.

Premises Licence - a premises licence conveys the ability to sell alcohol from the premises to which the licence relates. The premises licence must specify a premises manager.

Overprovision - every statement of licensing policy published by a Licensing Board must include an statement as to the extent to which the Board considers there to be overprovision. Overprovision is a ground for refusing a premises licence.

Reviews - any person may request the review of a premises licence, the grounds for review are that there has been a breach of a condition or any other ground relating to one or more of the licensing objectives. If the Board accepts the review application, then they must hold a hearing. Following the hearing they can issue a written warning, make a variation to the licence, suspend the licence, revoke the licence, or take no action.

Statement of Licensing Policy - it is a statutory requirement for Boards to prepare a statement of licensing policy, which should promote the licensing objectives. This should include a statement as to the extent to which the Board considers there is overprovision of licensed premises, or licensed premises of a particular type.