NTBCC submitted the following in response to the consultation at Licensing Board Policy Consultation – Phase 2 – City of Edinburgh Council – Citizen Space on 12 November.
1 Your details
|First name:||New Town & Broughton|
|Email address:||licensing (at) ntbcc.org.uk|
|Yes, I consent to being contacted about this consultation:||Yes|
2 Are you responding as an individual or as an organisation?
3 Organisation name & type:
Community group or organisation
Draft licensing policy changes
4 Did you provide any comments to the first consultation carried out by the Board (between September – December 2022)?
5 Based on the edits proposed by the Board, are there any changes to the policy you are not comfortable with?
Sections 5.4 & 5.5
We appreciate the rationale provided by the Board at their meetings on 25th & 29th September, however we would be more comfortable with consecutive applications being approved maximum 2 (i.e. for up to 28 days) at a time, and not up to 6 (i.e. for up to 84 days) in one block – by means of safeguard for neighbouring properties, should operations lead to disorder or public nuisance for instance.
Section 5.11 ii)
Given the multi-cultural make up of Edinburgh’s population, it wouldn’t be too hard coming up with a list of special events of local or national significance for every day of the year. We would caution against increasing the current list, and would suggest for the Superbowl – as weakest candidate in our view – to be removed in place of the Six Nations Rugby being added.
We support the use of a condition requiring that alcohol sales are only to be with the provision of food. We feel that this needs to be qualified or quantified however – i.e. would a pack of crisps meet the condition… or should it?
This appears to refer to adjustments made live at the Board meetings. This could be made clearer but this also appears to conflict with the Board meetings protocol whereby objectors currently are required to speak first, followed by applicants. Objectors typically also are requested to stick to the contents of their written representation, therefore would not be able to request adjustments at that point?
Additionally, it would be helpful to cover adjustments made by applicants ahead of Board meetings. Currently objectors tend not to get visibility of these adjustments until after they’ve spoken at the meetings, and indeed when they cannot speak again unless they’re invited too. This can be frustrating for the objectors, and even more so should the adjustments show to have alleviated their concerns – and in turn having denied objectors the opportunity to better decide whether to attend given Board meetings in the first place, or not.
The rationale for exceeding national guidance of up to 14 hours trading by 2 hours is unclear at best, especially when seasonal hours – maintained to a further 2 hours – come in addition. Could the Board expand on their view here?
6 Are there any other parts of the policy you think the Board should reconsider?
Hearings as related to licensing matters – alcohol but also civic – are the only ones that aren’t webcast. We cannot think of any reasons as to why the applications section of the agenda couldn’t be webcast, when they are already at other Council Committee meetings – e.g. Planning or Transport. We would see some obvious benefit too, whereby the availability of webcasts might reduce the demand for Statement of Reasons – hence allow for the Clerks to the Board to reallocate their time elsewhere?
Applications for alcohol licensing are pretty much city centric, leading to many Community Councils outside the City Centre lacking experience in the process. Alcohol Focus Scotland produced an excellent toolkit – available here: Community-licensing-toolkit.pdf (alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk)
The Board should consider whether this material could be referred to from the Council’s website, or produce their own?
Additionally, we would recommend that the email template used by the Licensing Service be amended, so as to specify what Community Councils could request – namely:
i/ Layout Plan and Operating Plan, plus associated conditions;
ii/ Existing hours (when applicable) vs hours requested
With regards to notice of applications:
Requirements for displaying Site Notices should be made clearer. Specifically, site notices should be visible at all times from the street without the need for one to enter premises. Site notices should also extend to occasional licence applications.
Postal notifications – as related to premises licences and major variations – should be issued to neighbouring properties within a 20m radius, similarly to Planning applications.
Can it be made a mandatory condition for operations to be assessed against permitted use (Planning & Building Standards) for the premises – specifically, in the context of occasional licences?
Terminal hour is clear for off sales only.
Can the Board clarify what type of premises the terminal hour of 1am specifically applies to? also what the terminal hour is for members’ clubs?
For clarity, can the Board state the applicable age for children and young persons?
Appendix 4 should refer to recent not 2018 consultations.