Further to my previous update regarding the potential revocation of a number of a personal licences across the region, Inverness Courier has obtained details that 605 personal licences were revoked across the region at the December Licensing Board meeting.
The revocation of these licences has arisen over either a failure to complete refresher training within timescales specified by the Licensing Board or a failure to notify the Board of the completion of such training. It may well be that, out of the 605 licences revoked, some people may have left the licensing trade and are unconcerned by this revocation, however, already we have heard of staff members keen to return to the trade to cover the busy Christmas period who will now be unable to work.
In addition, the compulsory revocation has an even greater impact on future ability to work in the industry. If a licence is revoked by the Licensing Board, you are banned from having a personal licence for another 5 years. There is growing pressure for the law to be changed to remove the 5 year restriction. As we previously indicated, there are proposals to have the law changed by legislation currently going through the Scottish Parliament but this is unlikely to come into force until 2015/2016.
Simultaneously, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association has called for a national alcohol licensing body to bring an end to what they describe as inept and inefficient decision making at local level. These statements came in a submission to the committee discussing the legislation that will also revoke the automatic 5 year ban discussed above. They feel that local authority licensing boards administered by local councillors add political point scoring and confusion to the system. They feel it would be better dealt with by impartial third parties.
If you require any advice in connection with licensing matters, please do not hesitate to make contact with me.