Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Scottish Borders Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Convener welcomed everyone to the meeting and there was a round of introductions.



Minute pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minute of meeting of the Local Licensing Forum of 11 June 2019 to be noted (copy attached).


The Minute of the meeting held on 11 June 2019 had been circulated.



APPROVED the Minute.



Matters arising


With reference to paragraph 5.2 of the Minute of 11 June 2019, Mr Tunnah advised that a response to the consultation on Occasional Licences had been submitted on behalf of the Forum.






National Update and Learning and Development Needs

Aiden Collins, Alcohol Focus Scotland.


The Convenor welcomed Aidan Collins from Alcohol Focus Scotland.  Mr Collins explained that Alcohol Focus Scotland was a national charity, working to reduce alcohol harm.  The presentation today would focus on licensing developments, the main three being: the production of the Board’s Annual Functions Report; new policy statements; and, work to update Licensing Act guidance.


4.2       Mr Collins began by advising that the licensing system needed to be accountable to local communities.  It was therefore essential that local communities understood the licensing system and how it operated in their area.  Historically, there had been limited information available in an accessible format about the work of Licensing Boards.   In response to these concerns, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 had introduced a new duty on Licensing Boards to produce an Annual Functions Report which was required to include:  how Boards had regard to the objectives and their policy statements; a summary of decisions taken; and, the number of licences held in the area.   Annual Functions Reports were required to be published by July 2018, however, no guidance had been issued to help with understanding these obligations and there was different interpretations of what was required.  Alcohol Focus Scotland had undertaken a review of all published Annual Functions Reports (32 out of 40) to assess the extent to which they met statutory requirements and increased transparency.   Their review had found that the majority met the statutory requirements, but several contained only minimal information.  A report presenting the findings of their review had been published and this contained a number of recommendations for Scottish Government as well as for licensing boards and licensing forums.   Alcohol Focus Scotland had recommended that “local licensing forums should use the Annual Functions Reports as a tool to help fulfil their statutory purpose of keeping under review the liquor licensing system and the functioning of licensing boards in their area.”   Miss Elliot suggested that Alcohol Focus Scotland’s review be circulated to Licensing Forum members for further discussion at the joint meeting with the Licensing Board. 


4.3       Mr Collins then went on to discuss new licensing policy statements, highlighting that the consultation process had improved, with some boards proactive in meeting with groups that had not had much input in the past, such as young people.  Mr Collins, gave as an example, Highland Licensing Board’s consultation which had received 4,217 responses, demonstrating a high level of public interest in the availability of alcohol and licensing.   Mr Collins further advised that licensing boards had become more transparent, with many publishing the evidence received, with explanations of strengths/weaknesses of data.  Some boards had included a new approach to licensing objectives in response to the increase from off-sales for consumption at home and an increased awareness of alcohol related harm in private spheres as well as public.  Mr Collins gave as an example Glasgow Licensing Board’s decision to refuse off-sales applications on the grounds of public health in areas of high alcohol harm, even where there was no overprovision.   Some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Licensing Standards Officers - Update


Mr Tunnah advised that there no issues to report.   However, a couple of the Rugby 7s events would be given more attention next year.  The wristband to identify different age groups had been successful at these events.   There had been a tranche of new personal licence holder applications which had been slightly delayed because of staff sickness. These had now been issued.   


Occasional licence applications would increase for the Festive season.  The Licensing Board would be considering the festive season policy hours at their next meeting.  The majority of premises already had licences which permitted seasonal variations.   Mr Tunnah advised it was expected that opening hours would be extended to 1 am for most licences for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 


5.3       The Convenor asked if officers were aware of an increase in residential bars.  Mr Tunnah advised that they were not aware of any, and that a residential bar requesting donations should be licensed. 



NOTED the update.




Police Update


There was no police update.  Mr Tunnah advised that a Police Licensing Officer had been appointed and would attend future meetings to provide updates to the Forum.






Chief Constable's Annual Report to the Licensing Board 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report attached for information.


Copies of the Chief Constable’s Annual Report to the Licensing Board had been circulated with the agenda, for information.






Scottish Borders Licensing Board Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Copies attached of Minutes of:-

31 May 2019

21 June 2019

19 July 2019

23 August 2019

20 September 2019


Note dates of future meetings of Scottish Borders Licensing Board:-

25 October 2019

22 November 2019

20 December 2019

Additional documents:


            There had been circulated, for information, copies of the Scottish Borders Licensing Board Minutes of 31 May 2019, 21 June 2019, 19 July 2019, 23 August 2019, and 20 September 2019.  Members were encouraged to attend meetings of the Licensing Board as observers.  Dates of future meetings were noted as follows:-


25 October 2019

22 November 2019

20 December 2019


8.2       All meetings are held at Council Headquarters and start at 10 am unless otherwise advised on the agenda.


8.3       Mr Tunnah explained to new members, that the Licensing Board minutes enabled the Forum to scrutinise the Board’s decisions.  He and Mr Wynne would be happy to provide clarification on any decisions or matters to Forum members.   Mr Tunnah went on to advise that there was no contentious issues in the minutes.   The Forum welcomed the Boards decision not to extend opening hours prior to normal operating hours for the Rugby World Cup, which had highlighted that that sport should not automatically be linked with alcohol.



NOTED the minutes.



Date of Joint Meeting with Licensing Board

Note date of annual joint meeting of Scottish Borders Licensing Board and Local Licensing Forum – Wednesday 4 December at 4 pm in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters.


The date of the annual joint meeting of Scottish Borders Licensing Board and Local Licensing Forum was scheduled for Wednesday, 4 December at 4.00 pm in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters. 



NOTED the date of the joint meeting of Scottish Licensing Board and Local Licensing Forum was scheduled for Wednesday, 4 December 2019 at 4.00 pm. 



Private Business

Before proceeding with the private business, the following motion should be approved:-

“That under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 7A to the aforementioned Act”.


AGREED under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the business detailed in the Appendix to this Minute on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 7A to the Act.








Private Minute of meeting of the Local Licensing Forum of 11 June 2019 to be noted.


The private section of the Minute of 11 June 2019 was approved.



The meeting moved back into public business.



Any Other Business


Mr Tunnah explained that if a personal licence had elapsed, a new application was required to be submitted and full training undertaken.





Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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