An Evaluation of the Implementation of, And Compliance With, the Objectives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 – Final Report May 2013 (NHS Health Scotland)

Positive outcomes of the Act:

  • Fewer irresponsible promotions were reported as taking place in pubs and clubs.
  • A reduction in the direct sales of alcohol to underage young people.
  • The successful establishment of the role of Licensing Standards Officers.
  • Giving Licensing Boards the power to review, revoke or suspend licences was thought to be a useful deterrent and a useful sanction against any alcohol outlet guilty of poor practice.
  • Improved relationships between Licensing Boards /LSO’s and trade members.

Areas for development:

  • Role and functioning of Local Licensing Forums  - some evidence that these bodies have stalled.
  • The public health objective – the licensing objective that Boards, Forums and LSO’s most struggle to address.
  • The larger off-trade sector has largely been unaffected by the Act.
  • Better and more consistent data collection at local and national level.

Recommendations include:

  • More guidance and support to be given nationally in relation to the public health objective.
  • Scottish Government should continue to consider measures to address the pricing of alcohol – for example press for the introduction of MUP once the judicial process has been fully determined.
  • All Licensing Boards to give further thought to the operation and effectiveness of the public health objective.
  • National and local datasets to be collected and collated consistently by Boards and LSOs, in order that meaningful comparison can be made of an agreed minimum data set.

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