Draft Statement of Liquor Licensing Policy by ves88494

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									                     INVERNESS, NAIRN, BADENOCH & STRATHSPEY
                             DIVISION LICENSING BOARD

                           REPORT ON POLICY CONSULTATION

Report summarises the consultations received and raises a number of other issues which arose
during the consultation.

    1. The Board has consulted with the following:-

          •   Public advertisement - the policy statement was made available to all Service
              Points within the Highlands
          •   Northern Constabulary
          •   British Beer & Pub Association
          •   Scottish Licensed Trade Association
          •   British Entertainment & Dance Association
          •   Highland Drugs and Alcohol Action Team
          •   Alcohol Focus Scotland
          •   Directorates of Social Work and Education Cultural & Sport
          •   Ward Forums
          •   Visit Scotland

The License Trade Association had not submitted any written comments but the Board will be
meeting them.

In response to the policy statement the other following issues have been raised.

•   Food (premises open after 1am)

    Late night premises ought to be required to make food available to customers within the
    premises. It is recognised that most late night club venues might not have facilities for
    providing hot food. However, I understand that other cities arrangements are made to have
    this brought in from takeaways and restaurants and therefore may be feasible. Discussion
    would be required with late night operators as to how this could be best achieved. It had
    been suggested that any such patrons could leave nightclubs early to make use of current
    late night takeaways but there is no evidence to support this trend amongst younger
    members of the city’s late night clientele.

•   Introduction of poly carbonate glasses

    This was widely misreported in the press as the Board never raised the question of
    introduction of a blanket ban on glass. At some future date the Board might wish to
    introduce poly carbonate glasses in premises closing before nightclubs where there is an
    individual problem. However two written comments have been received:-

    - Scottish Beer & Pub Association asked for further information and have not commented
      against the respective policy for late night premises.
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    - The Bar Entertainment & Dance Association will welcome the introduction as long they
      apply to all premises opening after 1.00am.

    - A&E Consultant, Raigmore Hospital, A&E Department supported the introduction of plastic
      poly carbonate glasses as he personally had seen some extremely disfiguring injuries
      resulting from alcohol fuelled incidents with glass.

    If the Board wish to introduce these, consideration will have to be given as to why time.
    Apart from the hydride premises nightclubs do not open until after 9.00pm in the evening and
    therefore they could be introduced after that time. The Board would not wish to be
    prescriptive in the application of this policy and there will be exceptions eg. operations which
    are solely food orientated and have no vertical drinking or dancing. Also exception could be
    made for consumption of champagne, sparkling wines without detracting from the oval aims.

•   Late Night Curfew Review

    Safeinverness have asked to move the review to 12.45am (it is presently at 12.00 midnight)
    They advised that this would greatly improve the situation on doorways where at present
    large queues form and often this is where a large number of incidents occur. It is reported
    that often large groups of people will drink large quantities very quickly to enable them to
    gain access to certain premises prior to the curfew. Were more time available they may take
    more time over their consumption which may help in managing their behaviour later. They
    also suggest that this would also allow some staff in the license trade access to some of the
    late night venues after they have finished their own shifts. They also suggest that tourists
    regularly ask where they can go and dance and are unbelieving when told that a city can
    shut so early.

    The current curfew is well understood by police and license trade and was introduced to try
    and prevent a late rush of customers from pubs to nightclubs at 1.00am. The Board
    introduced a curfew in response to issues raised by Northern Constabulary and before
    departing from the current policy it would be well advised to seek the Chief Constable’s
    views.

    A member of the public complained about hours in residential areas and that the Board was
    not in a position to make an over provision statement until 2009.

•   Hours

    The question that creates most discussion from the public and the licensees’ point of view.

    However the Board may wish to consider the following the guidance based on recent
    Scottish Executive guidance and previous policies of Boards. What is proposed does depart
    in certain aspects from current policies and where I am aware of what impact they will have I
    have highlighted this.

    I have also copied this Report to the police, The License Trade Association, BEDA and
    health organisations so that it gives them an opportunity to consider this before they meet

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    the Board. It is not going to be possible to meet the Forum on 8th October but I have also
    copied them this Report.

•   Early Hours

    In allowing premises to open before 11.00am the Board’s intention was to make the earlier
    hours more attractive for local tourism. It was intended that it would be granted to food-led
    operations and imposed conditions requiring hot and cold breakfast to be available.
    However, in practice this has led to a number of 9.00am openings for vertical drinking
    establishments which are unlikely to be frequented by visitors. However, notwithstanding
    the Board’s original intention premises with such extensions have operated by and large
    without difficulty and have not attracted unfavourable attention from the police or the public.
    However, the Board has also followed the policy that where such grants have been made, no
    extensions will be granted after 11.00pm at night. It is interesting to note that here the Board
    has effectively second guessed the Scottish Government’s recommendation that premises
    should not be opened for longer than 14 hours.

    The Board therefore may wish to continue with this policy of favouring 9.00am extensions for
    premises where hot or cold breakfast will be served and that the terminal hour is likely to be
    11.00pm. This will be on Mondays to Saturdays inclusive.

    The Board may wish additionally to consider extensions on a Sunday morning. They have
    refused applications for Sunday mornings to show televised football games. The Board’s
    reasoning has been that the purpose of a 12.30am kick-off is to enable the football to
    commence before fans have had an opportunity to consume alcohol and consequently
    opening earlier directly contradicts that purpose. The Board may wish to adhere to the
    status quo.

    Whatever the decision it is recommended that the Board applies the same policy for all types
    of licensed premises where alcohol is served where there is no obligation to provide food.

•   Post 11.00pm

    The policy within Inverness was to allow premises to remain open until 1.00am every night,
    Monday to Friday, 12.30pm on Saturdays and 12.00 midnight on Sundays. Nairn was more
    restrictive with 12.30pm on three specified nights and 12.00 midnight on remaining nights.
    Badenoch & Strathspey allowed 11.00pm to 1.00am throughout the week. In Inverness and
    Aviemore limited number of premises will be allowed to remain open until 2.00am. There
    appears to be no reason for making future exceptions as the premises concerned will likely
    fall into the category of either a public house or a nightclub. That will be a matter for the
    applicants to determine when they apply for the license under the 2005 Act.

    There also has to be taken into account The Highland Council’s policy on late hours catering.
    This is in a state of flux at present but if the policy extends to 3.00am in the morning it will
    mean that patrons will be lingering in the city centre for longer than before. This is a matter
    for comment on by the police but the Licensing Board may wish to consider an earlier
    termination for public type premises. The following could be considered:


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      1.   Premises in mixed commercial and residential areas: Monday to Sunday 12.00
           midnight. At present the hours are Monday to Friday 1.00am, Saturday 11.45pm or
           12.30am, Sundays 12.00 midnight.

      2.   Premises in city centre locations: Monday to Saturday 1.00am, Sundays 12.00
           midnight. Nightclubs/bars opening after 9.00pm to 3.00am each night of the week.
           This would permit longer hours on a Saturday evening for city centre premises.

    In passing, whilst not relevant for Members consideration, these hours compare very
    favourably with Scotland’s other cities.

    Invariably any application will have to be dealt with by the Board on its own merits. A key
    point is in the past applicants have simply applied for “policy hours”. In future they will be
    under an obligation to trade during their permitted hours.


•   Outdoor seating areas

    In the past the Board has taken a natural view to outside seating. However the prohibition in
    smoking in premises has brought this issue into its sharper focus. It is recommended that
    where there is outside seating or provision for alcohol being consumed in an outdoor area,
    licensee will have to ensure that there is no noise or disturbance or nuisance to occupiers of
    other premises in the vicinity. The area will have to be close shown as it will fall to be taken
    into account if any over provision calculation and in any necessary evaluation of the whole
    premises.

    Members will note that where this is on a pavement or public highway separate consent is
    required from TEC Services in their capacity as the roads authority. It is recommended that
    there is a 9.00pm terminal. This is consistent with the licensing objective of preventing public
    nuisance.

•   Adult entertainment

    Since the publication of the draft policy statement the Scottish Government have
    promulgated conditions to be attached to premises in which adult entertainment is taking
    place. Adult entertainment means any form of entertainment which (a) involves a person
    involving an act of an erotic or sexually explicit nature; and (b) is providing wholly or mainly
    for the sexual gratification or titillation of the audience. Within the Highlands this has not
    been a contentious issue but the Board will note that along with premises which remain open
    after 1.00am additional mandatory conditions have to be attached which relate to issues of
    public health and public order and safety. Where adult entertainment is intended the
    applicant will have to have clearly stated this in any application in the operation plan and in
    determining any application the Board will have regard to the licensing objectives. In this
    regard relevant objectives would be preventing crime and disorder; protection of children
    from harm and preventing public nuisance.




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Consultations received are available for inspection in the Member’s lounge in The Town House.

Recommendation:

To discuss the above comments and consider any amendments to the policy and where
necessary re-consult with Consultees




Author
Clerk to The Licensing Board
3rd October 2007

Background papers

Consultations in member’s lounge in the Town House.




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