Volunteers needed for new licensing forum

Would you like to have a say on alcohol and licensing matters in your community? We are looking for volunteers to serve on our new Aberdeenshire Local Licensing Forum.

The former model of three local licensing forums has been replaced with this single forum. It is anticipated the new structure will mean there are enough members for forum to meet its legal requirements and workload. It is independent from our three licensing boards, but shares the same goal of having the community’s best interests at the heart of decision-making. Its role is to keep operation of the Licensing Act under review in the community, and to make recommendations to the Licensing Board.

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has five main objectives: preventing crime and disorder; securing public safety; preventing public nuisance; protecting and improving public health and protecting children from harm.  One of the roles of the new forum is to review how the Licensing Boards promote these objectives in how they operate.

The new forum will have between five and 21 members. The intention is for them to represent the community as a whole – it is hoped a mix of local residents; young people; people involved in health; education and social work; licensees and a senior police officer will be among those who volunteer. 

It will meet at least four times a year in various locations throughout Aberdeenshire. Its meetings are open to the public and the media to discuss licensing matters and to develop effective actions to deal with these issues. It will give advice to three divisional Licensing Boards but will not comment on individual cases going before them.

Cllr Jim Gifford, Business Services Committee chair and Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The new Aberdeenshire Local Licensing Forum gives our communities a real say on licensing matters in their areas but we need people from all walks of life to volunteer to make it be the best it can be. If you can spare the time we would love to hear from you.”

Committee vice chair, Cllr Michael Roy, said: “Giving back to your local community is really rewarding so I would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch. You can help make a real difference to licensing in your local area so do think about volunteering for this forum.”

To get involved or for more information please email licensing.forums@aberdeenshire.gov.uk. For more information on the work of the Aberdeenshire Licensing Forum and Boards please visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/licensing/alcohol/forums/