HIGHLAND licensing board’s proposal to ban glass after 9pm in bars, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels across the region was certainly a controversial one.
When it was first mooted back in May as the board consulted on its new licensing policy statement, the proposal generated widespread media coverage – at home and abroad – and was criticised on whisky forums.
It was also slammed by operators in the area, who claimed such a measure could harm the image of the Highlands and impact on tourism.
They had a point.
Toughened glass and plastic has its place – in big late night bars and nightclubs, it can be easier and safer for staff to clear away; it can also lessen the risk of girls who are wearing open shoes ending the night with cut feet.
But in a country pub, fine dining restaurant or whisky bar, it’s a step too far.
In an area which attracts thousands of domestic and foreign visitors, the prospect of restaurant staff switching a Champagne flute for a toughened version when the clock struck 9pm or a bartender serving a fine single malt or cocktail in a ‘plastic’ glass just doesn’t seem right.
And so the news that Highland licensing board has decided to ditch its proposal for such a blanket ban is to be welcomed.
Let’s raise a glass as common sense prevails.