Dundee Licensing Forum - 01/12/2009
At a MEETING of the DUNDEE LICENSING FORUM held at Dundee on 1st December, 2009.
Dundee Licensing Forum
Mr Colin RATTRAY
Mr Bryan COLEMAN
Ms Morag DOUGLAS
Mr Jimmy MONAGHAN
Mr Alex FRIEL-MYLES
Ms Kirsty LICENCE
Mr Hamish TAIT
Ms Liz KAY
Mr Johnathan STEWART
Mr Graeme PETRIE
Mr Simon GOULDING
Dundee Licensing Board
Bailie Roderick A J WALLACE
Councillor Brian GORDON
Councillor David BOWES
Councillor Ken GUILD
Maureen MORAN, Legal Department, Dundee City Council
Brian WOODCOCK, Legal Department, Dundee City Council
Carole ROBERTSON, Corporate Planning Department, Dundee City Council
Anne SINGLETON, Secretary for the Licensing Forum
Craig SOMERS, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, Dundee City Council
Colin RATTRAY, Convener, in the Chair.
Apologies were intimated from Councillors Fordyce and Andy Dawson, Vered Hopkins, Jennifer Keenan and John Mitchell.
II YOUNG PEOPLE AND ALCOHOL
Kenny Lindsay, Children and Young People's Manager, Leisure and Communities Department, Dundee City Council gave a detailed presentation of the main findings of a consultation exercise carried out with 1,285 young people aged 12 and over.
He also outlined the proposed responses to the findings which were:-
- Partnership work to address alcohol and related issues in local areas;
- A proposal to buy a mobile resource to facilitate engagement; and
- Work with young people to develop specific responses.
There followed questions and considerable discussion. Issues highlighted included:-
- difficulties in engaging older age groups and those outside of school;
- powerful influence of peer pressure;
- importance of working with the Education Department;
- incentives such as possible free access to Council run facilities, linked to good behaviour (Liz Kay to try to obtain evaluation of similar scheme run in Perth);
- responsibility of adults/parents and the wider community towards young people;
- role of the proposed mobile resource unit.
The Chair thanked Kenny Lindsay for a very interesting presentation and expressed the support of all members of the Forum for the work being done.
III MINUTE OF MEETING OF 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2009
The minute of the above meeting was submitted and approved.
IV LICENSING AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVE - LINKS WITH THE COMMUNITY
Carole Robertson advised that she and Kirsty Licence had met with Neil Gunn, Head of Community Learning and Development, Dundee City Council who were keen to promote community involvement. The City Council had evolved a structured approach to community involvement within its own organisation through groups such as the Community Partnerships, Community Safety Networks, Community Regeneration Forums and the Civic Forum.
It was proposed to utilise this network and it was remitted to Carole Robertson/Kirsty Licence to report back to the next meeting with options/recommendations in this connection.
Liz Kay advised of a report which was circulated to Local Community Planning Partnerships providing an analysis of the main issues affecting each area for the previous three month period. Copies of this would be circulated to Kirsty Licence and Carole Robertson with a view to exploring whether the Forum could feed into this.
V MINIMUM PRICING FOR ALCOHOL
There was circulated a publication by SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) looking at a comparison of the benefits of minimum pricing for alcohol with a ban on the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty and VAT.
The paper concluded that whilst a first option would have a clear, demonstrable health benefit, the latter would have little impact on alcohol consumption or levels of health harm in Scotland.
The Forum was also updated on recent events regarding the Scottish Government's Alcohol Bill and it was agreed that the Forum should contact relevant MSP's to urge them to support proposals to support minimum pricing. In particular, the increased availability of cheap alcohol sold in supermarkets was seen as a major concern. Whilst the Forum recognised the role that education could play in harm reduction, it was felt that this would be of very limited value unless underpinned by minimum pricing.
VI RETAIL PARTNERSHIP AWARDS
It was reported that following on from the success of Best Bar None, a similar scheme for all age restricted goods was being piloted in Dundee under the auspices of the Scottish Business Crime Centre, and if successful, would be rolled out. As with Best Bar None, the scheme was entirely voluntary but was useful in highlighting responsible retailers. C J Lang had provided assistance to the SBCC and information had been previously circulated to members of the Forum in this connection.
Further updates would be given to future meetings of the Forum.
VII A O C B - 72 HOUR PROMOTIONS
Some concern was expressed that 72 hour promotions might be having the effect of driving down alcohol prices during the week. It was noted that there was presently no definitive guidance as to what constitutes an "irresponsible drinks promotion". Although the local Licensing Board was trying to identify irresponsible drinks that was potentially in breach of the pricing of alcohol requirements of Schedule 3, Paragraph 7 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (see Paragraph VIII below) it was noted that this matter would eventually be resolved in the courts.
VIII PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE LICENSING BOARDS STATEMENT OF LICENSING POLICY - CONSULTATION WITH THE FORUM
Members of the Licensing Board left during consideration of this item.
There was submitted a report advising the Forum of issues which had arisen since the implementation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 "the 2005 Act" on 1st September, 2005, and proposing possible supplements to the Board's Statement of Licensing Policy.
The proposed supplements covered guidance on what the Board would be likely to view as an "irresponsible drinks promotion"; and guidance on children on licensed premises in the vicinity of the City's two major football grounds.
With regard to guidance on what constitutes an "irresponsible drinks promotion", members in general welcomed such clarification, but whilst recognising the Board's limited powers to address the issue of deep discounting/bulk purchase promotions by supermarkets in the absence of minimum pricing legislation, felt that this omission limited the effects of other efforts to reduce alcohol related harm.
The second proposal was that the following should be inserted at the end of the section of the Board's policy statement headed "Children in Licensed Premises" at pp 11-12:-
"The Board is aware that a number of licensed premises in the vicinity of the two major football grounds at Dens Park and Tannadice wish to permit the presence of children and young persons before and after football matches. The Board would be prepared to agree to the inclusion of this in operating plans provided the children and young persons are accompanied by a responsible adult, the hours of such admission are restricted to 2 hours before kick-off and 1 hour after the conclusion of the games, subject to a maximum terminal hour of 8 pm, and the proposed terms of admission of such children and young persons are not inconsistent with any other provision of this Statement of Licensing Policy."
The Forum expressed its view that it was particularly important to promote a positive environment if children were to be allowed in licensed premises. One of the ways in which this could be done is by the Board encouraging premises seeking such a variation in their operating plan to participate in the Best Bar None scheme. After City Centre premises, it is the premises around football grounds that the scheme wishes to target, particularly in relation to the use of polycarbonate glasses.
Members were asked to submit any further comments to the Secretary to the Forum by 7th January, 2010 which would thereafter be submitted to the Board as the Forum's response to the consultation.
IX FUTURE MEETING DATES
The undernoted dates were agreed for 2010:-
Tuesday, 9th March
Tuesday, 8th June
Tuesday, 7th September
Tuesday, 7th December (Joint meeting with Licensing Board)
All to take place at 2.00 pm in the City Chambers, Dundee.
Additional meetings would be arranged as and when required.
Colin RATTRAY, Convener.