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Licensing news Scotland - October 2016

What's been happening in the licensing community in Scotland this month?

Alcohol and entertainment licensing news

Gambling news 

Other licensing news

Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing News

Edinburgh Licensing Board votes to change inaudibility policy

After a long fought campaign the working group Music is Audible/Live Music Matters, established following a meeting chaired by the Council in Autumn 2014,  is celebrating victory.

At a recent hearing the Edinburgh Licensing Board voted to amend the controversial inaudibility condition contained in its policy.  The condition presently reads all amplified music and vocals must be ‘inaudible’ in neighbouring residential premises.  The amendment will see this wording changed to ‘amplified music shall not be an audible nuisance in neighbouring residential premises.’

The hope is that this will introduce a tolerance and objectivity to what was previously a strict liability test.

The change is not automatic.  Nearly every licence issued by Edinburgh Licensing Board since 2009 will bear the original wording as a condition.  To benefit from the change, licence holders will be required to lodge a major variation application.  Before going to that expense, it would be advisable to have a specialist licensing solicitor “health check” the licence to see if any other changes can be swept up at the same time.

Aberdeen City festive extensions and occasional licences

Aberdeen City Licensing Board are reminding licence holders that the clock is ticking for festive applications.  Extended hours and occasional licence applications must reach the Board no later than 4 November. 

Renfrewshire festive policy announced

The Renfrewshire Licensing Board has announced its policy for festive extensions for 2016/2017.  The extensions available depend on terminal hour and whether you are a bar/pub, restaurant, or  nightclub/entertainment venue.  Details can be found here.

Importantly, licence holders must have “YES” to seasonal variations at Q4 of their operating plan and you must advise the board and Police Scotland no later than 6 December 2016 of the dates you intend to utilise. To do this, email enforcement.licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gcsx.gov.uk and RenfrewshireInverclydeLicensing@scotland.pnn.police.uk 

If your operating plan says “NO” to seasonal variations at Q4 you can apply for extra hours by way of extended hours application but you need to give at least 28 days’ notice.

Rules change on overprovision

As of 30 September the rules on overprovision have changed, with boards now having more latitude than before.  Previously only the number and capacity of licensed premises, or premises of the same or similar nature could be considered.  Moving forward boards must still have regard to the aforementioned but they can now also have a say on other matters such as, including the licensed hours of licensed premises in the locality. 

If you are planning to apply for a new licence or indeed to vary an existing licence we recommend you seek advice on the effect of the changes.  In addition, a technical legal change has been made to the law allowing boards to consider the whole of the board's area as a locality.

Gambling News

Consultation on Fourth Money Laundering Directive launched

The UK Government is seeking views, particularly from industry, on the directive to ensure that the UK’s rules work to mitigate and discourage money laundering and terrorist financing activity, “whilst being proportionate and managing burdens on businesses”.

The last date for responses is 10 November.  The consultation can be accessed here

Scottish Health Survey shows drop in problem gambling

The Gambling Commission Newsletter has highlighted the recently published Scottish Health Survey data which looks at gambling participation and problem gambling. 
 
The headline findings are that participation is up but, conversely, problem gambling is down year on year.
 
The Scottish Health Survey 2015 published this week by the Scottish Government shows a 2.8% increase in participation to 67.8% in 2015.  The rate of problem gambling has fallen 0.1% to 0.7%
 
The report can be accessed here

Edinburgh Late Hours Catering Licence Policy change imminent

A consultation report was considered by the Regulatory Committee on 23 September concerning Edinburgh’s Late Hours Catering Licence  Policy.

They resolved to adopt the new zones and conditions from 1 November 2016.  Full details will be published shortly but applicants for new licences and renewals post 1 November should check the up-to-date position. Further work has been ordered around a proposed relaxation on hours for delivery only after 3 am.  A supplementary report is expected in the new year.

Out and about 

September picked up where a busy August left off.  Stephen and Niall were once again touring the country meeting and representing clients.  Appearances included; Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Edinburgh Board and Edinburgh Committee, East Lothian and East Ayrshire.

If that wasn’t enough, Stephen and Niall attended a number of Police Interventions across Scotland, met clients in London and  hosted the launch for the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Licensing (IOL).  Further information on the IOL Scottish Branch will follow in upcoming bulletins.

To keep up with Niall and Stephen, follow them on Twitter

Niall Hassard: @niall_hassard

Stephen McGowan: @LicensingLaws


This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at October 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.