Scottish pubs are not ready for new licensing laws

04 June 2009 by
Scottish pubs are not ready for new licensing laws

The Scottish Government has been urged to delay the implementation of new licensing laws that are due to come into force on 1 September.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) in Scotland has warned that complying with the Licensing (Scotland) 2005 Act is proving to be extremely complicated and time-consuming.

Any establishment that does not have a personal licence holder nominated as a designated premises manager and noted on their premises licence - all by 31 August - will not be able to serve alcohol after that date.

With the deadline fast approaching, BHA Scotland has warned that there are many thousands of establishments that have not yet fully understood the Act's impact.

Debbie Taylor, chair of BHA Scotland and general manager of the Old Course Hotel and Golf Spa, St Andrews, said: "There are very specific steps that an establishment must undertake and they are not fully understood, despite efforts by the Government to publicise them. The industry and the boards need more time to implement them.

"We believe many establishments will be caught out by the timing of this Act and this will lead to closure and widespread job losses," she added. "All we are asking is to be given more time to implement this aspect of the Act's provisions."

The concerns have been expressed to the Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, but the BHA Scotland says that the Government has taken little notice so far.

"We support the Government in its aim to cut back on binge drinking, but not all businesses in the hospitality and drinks industry in Scotland are fully aware of the timing of the Act's provisions," said Taylor.

More than 3,000 licensed premises in Scotland miss application deadline >>

One in five Scottish pubs unready for licensing change >>

Licensing transition closes 83 Scottish pubs >>

Scotland's publicans face licence fee hike >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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