Chance to surrender brought some reprieve

By Gillian McKenzie

IT offered a faint glimmer of hope to a few in what was a pretty grim situation.
Some licensing boards, including Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, gave personal licence holders who had failed to notify of completed refresher training by the deadline a period within which to surrender the licence and, therefore, avoid revocation and the five-year ban on applying for a new one.
Given the vast number of people who had, for whatever reason, failed to comply, it offered some reprieve.
If the PLH was the designated premises manager they were still required to appoint another PLH as premises manager within the six-week window to enable the premises to continue selling alcohol; but they were in a position to apply for a new personal licence without having to wait five years.
However, for those whose board did not offer this ‘period of grace’, the five-year ban on applying for a new personal licence is a reality.
It is, in my view, a punishment which is far more severe than the ‘crime’.
Yes, licence holders should have acted sooner to complete the refresher training and to notify their board in time.
But banning them for applying for a new licence for five years is harsh to say the least.
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill, which is currently going through parliament, does propose scrapping this ban.
Unfortunately it is too little too late for thousands in the trade.