Consultation begins on Statement of Licensing Policy

The City of Edinburgh’s Licensing Board is seeking views on a review of the policy used to inform how the sale of alcohol is regulated in Edinburgh.

A consultation on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy will let the public comment on various aspects of the document, which sets out how the city’s Licensing Board will consider applications for licensed premises such as pubs, restaurants and pop-up bars.

The formal consultation follows a period of in-depth engagement with a range of businesses, community groups, the police and health services in relation to the Board’s review of the Policy, which is required under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

Amongst the areas highlighted for feedback are whether closing hours should be varied for premises depending on where they are in the city, the approach to the hours during which children can visit licensed premises and if the effectiveness of changes to the policy in relation to amplified music in 2016 (following work by the Music is Audible group) should be evaluated.

Alongside this, the Board is also required to assess areas of overprovision in the city in a separate consultation. Respondents are asked whether a number of localities identified by the Board following proposal by Police Scotland, the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Partnership and NHS Lothian should be included in the policy as areas of overprovision.

Councillor Norman Work, Convener of the Licensing Board, said: “Our city benefits from a rich and varied entertainment scene, to which many of our licensed premises contribute. It is our role in the Licensing Board to preserve this while, importantly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the public. 

“We’ve already had an excellent response from a range of interested parties to initial engagement on the Statement of Licensing Policy, which has helped us prepare a draft policy for formal consultation taking into account issues arising since the last review in 2013. I now look forward to hearing the thoughts of the general public, trade representatives, health professionals, the police and others over the coming months.”

The Board, which sits separately from the Council and is responsible for regulating the sale of alcohol to the public, will agree and publish a new policy in November which will apply until 2022 when it will require to be updated.

The Policy is underpinned by the statutory requirement on the Board to promote the five Licensing objectives set out in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2006, which include the prevention of crime and disorder and protection of public health.

Both consultations are available for participation on the Council website and will run until 1 October. Take part in the draft Statement of Licensing Policy consultation here and the Assessment of Overprovision consultation here.

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