Dundee Licensing Forum - 25/09/2007
MINUTE of MEETING of DUNDEE LICENSING FORUM of 25th September, 2007.
Jonathan STEWART (Jnr)
Moira OGILVY/John MITCHELL
1 MINUTE OF MEETING OF DUNDEE LICENSING FORUM OF 4TH SEPTEMBER, 2007
The minute of the above meeting was submitted and approved.
2 MINUTE OF MEETING OF LICENSING FORUM SUB-GROUP OF 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2007
The minute of the above meeting was submitted and approved.
3 REQUEST FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE FORUM
There was submitted a request from Tahir Ramzan, London Nightclub, for membership of the Forum. The Forum agreed to this request subject to Mr Ramzan undertaking appropriate training.
4 LICENSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2005 - STATEMENT OF LICENSING POLICY
There was submitted a consultation document relative to the Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy 2007-2010 under Section 6 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act.
Under the terms of the Act, the Board must consult with the Local Licensing Forum for the Board's area, and the forum's views were requested by Friday, 5th October, 2007.
The Forum's response is attached as Appendix I.
5 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next scheduled meeting will take place on Tuesday, 4th December at 3pm (NOTE CHANGE OF TIME). It was remitted to the Secretary to try to arrange a meeting with the Licensing Board prior to this date.
DUNDEE LICENSING FORUM
Secretary to Dundee Licensing Forum
Mrs Anne Singleton
21 City Square
Tel: (01382) 434816
Our Ref: AMS/DCS
2nd October 2007
Clerk to the Licensing Board
Dundee City Council
20 City Square
Dundee City Licensing Board - Statement of Licensing Policy 2007-2010 - Consultation
The Dundee Licensing Forum, at its meeting on 25th September 2007, considered the abovementioned document. In general, the Forum is extremely supportive of the policy, but would like to comment as follows:-
(a) Personal Licences
It should be emphasised that wherever possible a personal licence holder should be on the premises at all times. It is recognised that this may not always be possible for smaller businesses but it should be strongly recommended as good practice.
(b) Occasional Licences
Concern was expressed that this could be open to abuse, particularly in more rural areas. The Forum suggests that consideration be given to attaching the conditions that (i) in all cases the person in charge should be a personal licence holder, and (ii) the use of plastic glasses/bottles should be mandatory. This is particularly important in large outside non-licensed premises and where children are likely to be present.
(c) Operating Plan
The Forum suggests that the Board should provide clear and simple guidance (possibly a template) to licence holders regarding what is expected of an operating plan.
(d) Overprovision of Licensed Premises
It is welcomed that the Board will have a policy on overprovision of licensed premises. It is suggested that particular consideration should be given to addressing overprovision of off-sales in areas outside the city centre area.
(e) Licensing Hours
The Forum recommends that Sunday licensing hours be similar to Monday to Saturday. It is considered applications of up to 13 hours and no later than 1.00 am would be reasonable in normal circumstances.
The Forum supports the proposed occasional extension dates for 2007.
Clarification as to what constitutes an entertainment venue is requested, as some confusion appears to exist regarding public houses with function rooms.
(f) Minimum Entry Charge
The Forum supports the policy of a minimum entry charge for premises providing entertainment, and in view of the fact that this has not been revised for some time, recommends that it be raised to 3.50.
(g) Best Bar None Scheme
This scheme is strongly supported and is felt to be of great benefit both to the trade and general public in raising standards.
It is recommended that participation in the scheme should be mandatory for all licensed premises. In particular it is felt particularly important that the scheme be extended to off-sales premises.
(h) Disability Equality Duty
From December 2006 the Licensing Board are legally and morally bound to uphold the principles contained within their Disability Equality Scheme. Although the Board has no remit to enforce the Disability Discrimination Act, it now has a statutory Disability Equality Duty to minimise discrimination and promote equality. These principles should be considered when evaluating the suitability of premises for the sale of alcohol.
Participation in Best Bar None and complaints/concerns from the public point to a real need to ensure licensed premises are both accessible and have suitable toilet facilities. Sadly in many instances disabled people are excluded when, with a little thought and commitment, this need not be the case.
The Forum would therefore recommend that the Board's policy makes provision to ensure premises, where possible, are accessible to all and this be reflected in the Statement and would also urge that the Board contains, within its statement, the action it will take should a licence holder fail to make provision for disabled customer.
(i) Relationship with Other Strategies and Regimes
The Forum strongly supports strengthening the relationships between different agencies and strategies. It recommended that such agencies should include the Dundee Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Licensing Forums for other areas. It was suggested that the Forum should meet with the Licensing Board a minimum of three times a year.
Further details on the role of the Licensing Standards Officers would be welcome. It is welcomed that their role would include providing information and guidance, as well as enforcement.
The practice of touting/advertising by leaflets, flyers, vouchers or similar items should be strictly prohibited. Considerations should be given to the Forum formulating a code of practice which included this and other appropriate matters.
(l) Deep Discounting by Off-Sales Premises
Whilst noting that the Scottish Executive had given a commitment to address this issue, the forum would urge the Board to strongly support the Executive's efforts and act in a proactive manner wherever possible. Suggestions included:-
7 ensure that alcohol sales are confined to a particular area, and if practical (ie for premises above a certain size) separate counters should be used
7 alcohol should be clearly labelled, giving information on price/volume/units of alcohol
7 display of information on recommended units of alcohol in licensed premises
I hope the above comments are helpful, but if you require any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Dundee Licensing Forum