By Gillian McKenzie
I’LL be honest, I didn’t expect vast numbers of personal licence renewals to have been lodged.
After all, there was months of uncertainty surrounding the renewals process and what would be required of the first tranche of personal licence holders to reach the ten-year renewal point: PLHs whose licences expire on August 31, 2019.
And the Scottish Government took until August to publish guidance on the matter and until October to advise affected PLHs to undertake refresher training ahead of the May 31, 2019 deadline. The festive period was then upon the trade, meaning it was likely that this would be shelved until the new year.
And the figures SLTN obtained last month made for grim reading.
Some boards had received as little as 3% of the expected renewal applications, and the four boards with the highest number of applications had received around a fifth of the number expected.
There are now real fears that many licensees will miss the May 31 deadline – and that those who do meet it could see their renewal application join a deluge which boards will have to try and process in a short space of time.
The irony, of course, is that these licences were first issued in similar circumstances ten years ago, when the government had to step in at the 11th hour and offer a two-month stay of execution as boards struggled to cope.
As yet, there is no such period of grace.
For PLHs whose licences expire on August 31, 2019 the message is simple: complete refresher training and lodge a renewal application now!