Welcome to the TLT Guide to Scottish Licensing Board Policy Statements

In this online resource, we provide a free guide and link to the policy statements of every single licensing board in Scotland. All licensing boards were required to publish their new policy statements around November 2023 and the vast majority are now complete and available online at the links below. At the time of writing a handful of licensing boards were still working on some aspects of their policies and so this guide will be continually updated once those processes are complete.

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires every licensing board to produce a statement of policy which they do after a period of public consultation. The policies remain in place for a five year period, meaning the current policies are for the period 2023 – 2028.

This webpage will be updated regularly as any changes or supplementary policies are published so please check back as needed.

What is a licensing policy statement?

The policy statement is a very important document for all stakeholders involved in the world of licensing but particularly so for licence holders as it can be described as a sort of “rulebook” for what to expect from a particular licensing board in terms of how they will do their business and carry out their functions under the 2005 Act. The policy, once confirmed, is therefore a very important part of the licensing process. You can expect a policy to lay down a board’s approach in key matters such as overprovision, licensed hours, children and young persons access to licensed premises, amongst various other matters. When licence applications are made, the board will have regard to their policy and this means applications which are “outwith” policy may face difficulty, though each application should always be on its own merits.

How can TLT help?

If you are a licence holder looking to understand how a local policy affects you, or if you are someone looking to obtain a licence but concerned that your local policy may have adverse consequences for your business plan, you should seek specialist advice and we are happy to discuss your queries. Our team of specialist licensing solicitors is the largest in Scotland and we cover the whole country, frequently appearing at every licensing board in every local area representing hundreds of licensed businesses of all shapes and sizes from large event and sporting venues, distilleries and tourist attractions, to local pubs and shops.

Our Guide to Scottish Licensing Policies

In our handy drop-down menu below, you will find a link to every licensing policy in Scotland. We will add commentary below each link on an ongoing basis where matters of interest arise, and you can contact our partners Stephen McGowan and Caroline Loudon at the contact links at the foot of the page.

Read Aberdeen City's finalised Statement of Licensing Policy (November 2023) on their website.

Read Aberdeenshire Licensing Board's updated Statement of Licensing Policy (2023 - 2028) on their website.

Read Angus Licensing Board's updated Statement of Licensing Policy on their website.

The Clacks licensing board published a draft of the new policy on 7 July 2023 and that draft is now subject to public consultation. The draft policy can be viewed at the following link: https://clackmannanshire.citizenspace.com/licensing/draft-statement-of-licensing-policy-2023/. There is an online questionnaire which can be used to offer views but the following contact by email is also provided: licensingpolicyconsult@clacks.gov.uk. The deadline to complete the questionnaire/provide responses is 31 August 2023.

Read Dumfries & Galloway Licensing Board's updated Licensing Policy Statement on their website.

Read East Ayrshire Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Board policy (November 2023 - November 2028) on their website.

Read East Dunbartonshire's updated Statement of Licensing Policy on their website

Read East Lothian Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy 2023-2028 on their website.

Read Edinburgh Licensing Board's updated Statement of Licensing Policy on their website.

Read Falkirk Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy on their website.

Read Fife Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy on their website.

Read City of Glasgow Licensing Board's updated Policy Statement on their website.

Read Highland Licensing Board Policy Statement (2023 - 2028) on their website.

Read Inverclyde Licensing Board's Policy Statement (1 November 2023 - 31 October 2028) on their website.

Read Moray Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy (30 November 2023 to 29 November 2028) on their website.

The North Ayrshire Licensing Board consultation was formally launched on 20 July 2023. It can be accessed via the North Ayrshire Community Engagement Hub which is here: https://northayrshire.community/events/ and then looking in the tabs under July or August 2023. The deadline for responses to this consultation is 25 August 2023.

The Board have highlighted three areas in particular that could be subject to change whilst also noting of course that they are seeking views on all aspects. The three areas they have “picked out” are: (1) Overprovision – licensing practitioners will tell you that of all the licensing boards, it is known that North Ayrshire has a particularly strong and robust approach to overprovision, but it is also a very nuanced approach. (2) Occasional licences – as with many other boards, North Ayrshire is seeking views on what occasional licences should be used for. (3) Like many other boards, there is an acknowledgement of the Trade Union “safe home” campaign where the union has lobbied councils and licensing boards to create laws requiring licence holders to pay for transport for staff and so on. We have always stated the view that imposing conditions relating to employment terms is ultra vires to the powers of a licensing board. North Ayrshire acknowledge this position in the consultation document where they say: “The Board can only recommend that Licence-Holders should implement policies like "Safely Home" or "Ask for Angela". The Board cannot threaten to revoke or suspend Licences if Licence-Holders don't implement these recommendations

Responses to this consultation are being invited by email to licensing@north-ayrshire.gov.uk or by letter to:

Raymond Lynch

Clerk to the Licensing Board:

North Ayrshire Council

Democratic Services

Cunninghame House

Irvine

KA12 8EE

Read Orkney Islands Area Licensing Board's updated Licensing Policy Statement on their website.

Read Perth & Kinross Licensing Board's Policy Statement (2023 - 2028) on their website.

Read Renfrewshire Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy (2023 - 2027) on their website.

Read Scottish Borders Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy (November 2023 - November 2028) on their website.

Read South Ayrshire Licensing Board's updated Statement of Licensing Policy on their website.

This division of the South Lanarkshire board announced on 7 December 2022 that it had opened a consultation for views on their new statement, which includes their policy on overprovision. The announcement email did not specify any key topics to be considered in the new consultation (other than specifying that overprovision would be looked at). Anyone interested in providing views in this area should email licensing@southlanarkshire.gov.uk and be clear that you are responding in relation to Division 1 – Clydesdale.

This area has four divisions and each one has its own separate licensing policy with different rules. A copy of the policy can be requested via the same email address. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2023.

This division of the South Lanarkshire board announced on 7 December 2022 that it had opened a consultation for views on their new statement, which includes their policy on overprovision. The announcement email did not specify any key topics to be considered in the new consultation (other than specifying that overprovision would be looked at). Anyone interested in providing views in this area should email licensing@southlanarkshire.gov.uk and be clear that you are responding in relation to Division 2 – East Kilbride.

This area has four divisions and each one has its own separate licensing policy with different rules. A copy of the policy can be requested via the same email address. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2023.

This division of the South Lanarkshire board announced on 7 December 2022 that it had opened a consultation for views on their new statement, which includes their policy on overprovision. The announcement email did not specify any key topics to be considered in the new consultation (other than specifying that overprovision would be looked at). Anyone interested in providing views in this area should email licensing@southlanarkshire.gov.uk and be clear that you are responding in relation to Division 3 – Hamilton.

This area has four divisions and each one has its own separate licensing policy with different rules. A copy of the policy can be requested via the same email address. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2023.

This division of the South Lanarkshire board announced on 7 December 2022 that it had opened a consultation for views on their new statement, which includes their policy on overprovision. The announcement email did not specify any key topics to be considered in the new consultation (other than specifying that overprovision would be looked at). Anyone interested in providing views in this area should email licensing@southlanarkshire.gov.uk and be clear that you are responding in relation to Division 4 – Rutherglen & Cambuslang.

This area has four divisions and each one has its own separate licensing policy with different rules. A copy of the policy can be requested via the same email address. The deadline for responses is 31 January 2023.

Read West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy (November 2023 - November 2027) on their website.

Read West Lothian Licensing Board's Statement of Licensing Policy (2023 - 2028) on their website.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at March 2024. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

Written by

Stephen, McGowan

Stephen McGowan

Date published

13 March 2024

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