This month in summary
A House of Lords Committee (HoLC) has completed its review the Licensing Act 2003. This is the legislation in England and Wales which governs the sale of alcohol. In their report the HoLC makes some comments that will be of interest to Scottish licensees. These include:
Most workers employed in the licensed hospitality and retail sector are entitled to The National Minimum Wage. The rates as at 1 April 2017 for the year ahead are:
Edinburgh Council is considering introducing an age limit for its licensed Taxis and Private Hire Cars to improve vehicle standards and reduce emissions.
Suggestions on how to achieve this are one of the following and once a resolution is made it would mean amending the conditions of taxi and PHC licences accordingly. Views are sought on whether it should be done by -
a) introducing an age limitation in respect of taxis and private hire cars; or
b) introducing an incremental increase in the minimum emissions standards for the engines in these vehicles
To respond go to the consultation hub.
The Consultation closes 2 June 2017.
Secondly, the Council is currently undertaking a consultation to identify any further changes which are considered necessary in terms of late hours catering.
In 2016 the Council consulted on a number of proposed changes to their Late Hours Catering Policy. During the consultation process the Committee was asked if they would consider extending the policy to allow premises that operate with a Late Hour Catering Licence to operate a “delivery only” service after the premises were closed to members of the public.
They are now inviting views and the consultation, which closes on 19th May 2017.
The Gambling Commission has published its business plan for 2017/2018 outlining its focus and priorities in key areas for the next financial year.
The Commission will focus on five key areas:
The Commission is also seeking the views of key stakeholders on their future strategy. Given the likely changes in the way the Gambling Commission enforces against operators, in particular in relation to protecting the young and vulnerable from gambling, it is a good time for the industry to ensure its voice is heard.
The commission have stated that they are looking for suggestions on how to:
"…improve how we deliver our core responsibilities. There is also a need to build and maintain consumer trust against the back drop of changing consumer behaviour. To do this, we wish to encourage the industry to be increasingly innovative to continue to keep gambling safe, fair and crime free."
Further information can be found on their website.
March signalled the beginning of the end for many of Scotland's licensing boards, or at least boards as we know them. With the Local Authority Elections scheduled for 4 May many boards will have a hiatus to allow Councillors to campaign pre-election and thereafter, to allow for the nomination and training of the new licensing board members post-election. With our usual gusto we have represented clients at the following – North Lanarkshire; South Lanarkshire (EK); West Dunbartonshire; Falkirk; East Dunbartonshire; Glasgow; Edinburgh; Dundee and Highland Licensing Boards/ Committees.
In addition, Niall attended SIBA's BeerX Conference in Sheffield and sampled several SIBA Regional Champion Beers (a tough job but someone has to do it!).
Michael's Twtter @michaelmcdx
Caroline's Twitter @ckploudon
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at April 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions