Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Contact: Fiona Walling. Tel: 01835 826504  Email:

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No. Item


Order of Business.



In his welcome to the meeting the Convener introduced Claire Penny, Development Officer with the Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) at Langlee.




The Convener varied the order of business as shown on the agenda and the Minute reflects the order in which the items were considered at the meeting.



Minute pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minute of the meeting of the Local Licensing Forum of 16 June 2015 to be approved. (Copy attached.)


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the meeting held on 16 June 2015.



APPROVED the Minute for signature by the Convener.




Matters arising from the Minute


With reference to paragraph 3(b) of the Minute, the Convener advised that this would be taken forward for the next meeting.






Community Development Officer at Langlee



4.1       Development Officer, Claire Penny, was in attendance to present the draft findings of the Langlee Alcohol Project Community Consultation.  Ms Penny explained that the Project Plan for the work being carried out in Langlee was made up of three stages: gathering data; developing an action plan; and implementing and evaluating the action plan.  A steering group for the project had been identified with representatives from the ADP, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Equality and Diversity, Healthy Living Network and Community Development.  As part of the first stage of the project a Community Consultation was carried out in Langlee and a paper summarising the findings was circulated at the meeting.  Views had been gathered from about 140 individuals.  Included was a Youth Consultation carried out by TD1 Youth Hub, to capture the views of young people of the community as well as the adults.  Charts within the report reflected the gender and age of respondents, and how they rated the level of alcohol concerns and issues in Langlee.  In a question about the types of concerns about alcohol the three most common concerns were alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, the location of drinking and young people’s access to alcohol. With regard to ideas of what could be done to help the situation respondents thought the most effective would be support groups, licensing measures, police support and public awareness sessions.  Ms Penny gave a summary of views given during the consultation day.  In putting together an action plan Ms Penny advised that the four key areas related to: the need for more public awareness; a lack of activity and employment; commentary around drug litter; and adults purchasing alcohol for consumption by young people.  Ms Walker clarified that the purpose of gathering the views of the community was to gain understanding of community views around alcohol in their area and a means towards building community assets. Specific issues around Licensing would be shared with the Forum, Licensing Board and Licensing Team.


4.2       Discussion continued in relation to Occasional Licensed Events, e.g. the Langlee Carnival, and the fact that volunteer bodies who were granted occasional licences did not usually receive training.  Mr Tunnah advised that training had been given to some voluntary groups in the past, such as the Ex Callants and Ex Laddies Associations and that this could be repeated.  It was pointed out that the number of voluntary bodies applying for licences was increasing and that consideration should be given to adding a requirement for training in the Licensing Policy document.  Mr Gillies drew attention to other issues around occasional licenses granted to voluntary bodies and expressed the view that stipulations relating to issues such as capacity and number of toilets for events, should be the same as for licenses granted to permanent holders. After further discussion the Convenor thanked Ms Penny for her attendance.




(a)        NOTED the draft findings from the Langlee Alcohol Project consultation.


(b)       AGREED to address issue of training of license applicants from voluntary bodies as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Police Report


In the absence of Inspector Hodges, the report was read by the Convener.  In recent months there had been several high value thefts of alcohol from local supermarkets. In a single day, two supermarkets were targeted and over £2000 of spirits stolen. Local Licensing Officers were engaging with the supermarkets to formulate a strategy to prevent further instances of this nature. Additionally, Community Officers were meeting with local retailers in Galashiels to organise a Shop Watch Scheme. There was a scheme several years ago, but this required rejuvenating.  Crimes of violence continued to be a problem and although many were of a minor nature, any violence in Licensed Premises was of concern. Staff effectively dealt with the majority of incidents, however the report re-iterated that the Police should be contacted on every occasion. Recently Licensing Officers from across J Division had joined together for a series of Licensing Operations. These operations had taken place in each of the local authority areas targeting problem premises and providing additional resources for specific events. There had been two music festival events this year, which in the past had raised concerns regarding inappropriate behaviours, binge drinking, and noise nuisance. This year both events had comprehensive event plans, that were scrutinised at the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meetings.  Both events went well and there have been no issues identified that would prevent future events taking place. With regard to measures to protect children from harm, changes to operational policy regarding Test Purchasing now required the Police to send letters to Licensees in any area where Test Purchasing was planned.  As a result there have been no Test Purchase Operations recently. This was being addressed and Test Purchasing would recommence under these new guidelines.



NOTED the report



Local Licensing Forum Development Day Feedback (copy of action plan attached) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


6.1       Members who attended the Development Day held on 28 September 2015 agreed that this had been a useful event.  There had been circulated with the agenda, copies of an action plan put together as a product of the day’s activities.  Ms Walker led the discussion by referring to the action plan in detail.  In each case agreement was received from the relevant persons identified as responsible to take forward each action.  After discussion there were further amendments made.  The planned outcomes were to:

·         improve communication with all Local Licensing Forum members;

·         keep under review decisions made by the Licensing Board and implementation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 in the Borders;

·         improve community engagement;

·         keep the Licensing Board better informed about consumption patterns;

·         improve knowledge and awareness of Licensing legislation;

·         improve representation on the Local Licensing Forum;

·         increase Licensing Board understanding of the Local Licensing Forum;

·         increase understanding of Board Policy by review of Licensing Board Statement of Policy 2013 - 2016; and

·         ensure evidence to support Statement of Policy and decision-making available to Licensing Board Members through 3rd edition of Alcohol Profile.


6.2       With regard to the action to improve representation on the Forum, it was agreed that the ADP Development Officer at Langlee be invited to join the Forum for the duration of that post.





(a)        the action plan as attached to this minute; and


(b)       that the ADP Development Officer at Langlee be invited to become a Member of the Scottish Borders Licensing Forum, for the duration of that post.           


Air Weapons and Licensing Scotland Act


The Convener advised that the Act had received Royal Assent on 4 August 2015.  However the only part of the new act, as it related to Liquor Licensing, which commenced on that date, was the part removing the requirement to wait five years before re-applying for a Personal Licence after revocation, for failing to re-train. This now meant that anyone who had their personal licence revoked, as a result of this failure, could apply for a new licence as soon as they had successfully re-trained.






Licensing Board Policy Statement


he Convener advised that the new Policy Statement should be in place by November 2016 although the introduction of new legislation may delay this.  Although there were time constraints it was agreed that the Forum should move ahead with the review.  The Convener added that, in future, the Policy Statement would be in place for the life of the Licensing Board, a new Statement being made after a new Board was in place.  Ms Walker suggested that the Alcohol Profile, which should be completed by the end of November 2015, would help inform the thoughts around the Policy review.  It was agreed that a special meeting of the Forum be arranged to take place in January to discuss the review, with the option of this evolving into a short-life working group if required.



AGREED that a special meeting of the Local Licensing Forum be held on Tuesday 12 January 2016 to commence work on the review of the Licensing Board Policy Statement.



Alcohol Profile


9.1       An update was given by Ms Walker, ADP Development Officer, on the preparation of the Scottish Borders Alcohol Profile for 2014/15.  The Profile aimed to collectively present information available for 2014/15 from Police Scotland, NHS Borders and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service both locally and nationally to support the development of licensing policy and decision making within the Scottish Borders Licensing Board.  Ms Walker explained that the Forum had carried out a review of the Profile by Licensing Board Members about how helpful this was in supporting them in their business and to determine if the Profile met their needs.  This information would be used to support the development of the 2014/15 Profile.  A summary of the responses was presented in a paper circulated at the meeting.  Ms Walker highlighted the main findings from the survey to which there were 8 responses (80% response rate).  The feedback from the survey was broadly supportive of the Profile but it was recognised that more data on off-sales activity, problem areas and comparisons on the data with other areas would be desirable. It was agreed that the reasons for the Profile i.e. to give an evidence base to inform Board decisions, should be emphasised at the joint Forum/Board meeting.


9.2       Following the review the recommendations on the development of the 2014/15 Profile were:-

·                                Build on the off-sales data and impact on overall Licensing Objectives

·                    Provide Matrix to give better indication of ‘problem areas’ based on Licensing Objectives

·                    Consider including capacity of off-sales premises data for Over Provision  Statement

·                    Carry out benchmarking with similar local authority areas as per Local Government Benchmarking Framework where data is available

·                       Include Test Purchasing Information


It was suggested that a version of the Alcohol Profile, without the appendices, could be provided to make the document more succinct and easier to take along to meetings.





(a)        the recommendations on the development of the 2014/15 Profile made following the survey of Members of the Licensing Board;


(b)       that the 2014/15 Alcohol Profile be finalised by the ADP Development Officer and sent to Licensing Board Members; and


(b)       that the reasons for the Profile be emphasised at the joint Licensing Board/Licensing Forum meeting.



'Responsibility' in the context of alcohol use



There had been a request from Mr Gillies for the concept of ‘responsibility’, in the context of alcohol use, to be added to the agenda for discussion.  The question was put as to whether responsibility lay with the seller of alcohol or the consumer.  The ensuing discussion focused on off-sales and circumstances around incidents that may occur on or in the vicinity of licensed premises where the holder of the license was always seen to be responsible.  It was accepted that staff of licensed premises must act responsibly in terms of who to allow in to premises and who to serve.  However alcohol-related incidents around the premises may be unrelated and may occur as a result of alcohol being obtained elsewhere. Staff were encouraged to contact the Police in the event of any incident but the resulting paperwork and specifically the  ‘Incident on Licensed Premises’ (ILP) form which must be completed would commonly be seen as a black mark against the premises involved, rather than a positive reflection of a responsible action.  This view was supported by other Licence Trade members around the table.  It was agreed that staff on licensed premises were now facing far more challenges.  Members concluded that the Anti-Social Behaviour report of an area should show a better understanding of ILP policy rather than an ILP report being seen as a negative factor.  It was suggested that the Forum should expand the discussion in order to gain a better understanding of the policy around licensed premises and alcohol-related incidents.



AGREED to invite Police Licensing Officers to a future meeting to gain a better understanding on the policy around incidents in licensed premises and reporting of this.



Joint meeting of Licensing Board and Local Licensing Forum - 9 December 2015

Discuss items for agenda


At its last meeting the Licensing Board had requested that this meeting be held on Wednesday 2 December 2015 at 4 pm.  The Convener advised that his annual report would be circulated to members of the Forum in draft form prior to the meeting.






Future agenda items

A request for future agenda items from members of the Forum


Items suggested for the next meeting on 26 January, 2016, were:-


·                     Presentation on Best Bar None;

·                     Discussion of the policy around licensed premises and ILP policy in particular (see paragraph 10 above);

·                     Update on presentation on Licensing to Community Councils and Area Fora.


It was agreed to invite the newly appointed Scottish Borders Council Licensing Enforcement Officer to the next meeting.



NOTED the future agenda items.




Scottish Borders Council

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