Aberdeenshire's three licensing boards seek views on updated policy statement

Views are being sought on a draft document that underpins the work of Aberdeenshire’s North, Central and South Divisional Licensing Boards.

The boards are required by law to have policy statements and have decided to work together to create a single policy document covering the work of all three groups.

Over the past few months, the boards have gathered evidence from a range of partner organisations, examined action plans, collected information on licensed premises across Aberdeenshire, and have identified issues that need to be addressed locally.

That work has led to the creation of the draft revised Licensing Policy Statement, which is now available for public comment, and particularly from holders of premises, personal or occasional licences.

The new policy document brings the boards’ main policy and all supplementary policies into one, making it the key reference document for license holders across Aberdeenshire.

The document also highlights a series of planned changes, some of which share best practice between the three board areas, with several measures specifically aimed at reducing the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Licence holders and members of the public have until Thursday, September 13, to share their views.

Convenor of the North Divisional Licensing Board, Cllr Brian Topping, said: “While we are required by law to develop policy statements, this has been a great opportunity for the three boards to work together and share best practice.

“We are very pleased with the draft document which aims to make it easier for licence holders and the public across Aberdeenshire to easily access this important information.”

Convenor of the Central Divisional Licensing Board, Cllr Fergus Hood, said: “The work of all the boards ties in with five objectives of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, and have been considered in the development of this document.

“Our aims are to prevent crime and disorder, secure public safety, prevent public nuisance, protect and improve public health, and to protect children and young persons from harm, and have been borne in mind through this process.”

Convenor of the South Divisional Licensing Board, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “A great deal of work has gone into the development of the licensing policy statement.

“I would appeal to all license holders and the wider public to take the time to consider what the changes might mean for them and to let us know their thoughts so that we have a document that best meets the needs of the whole of Aberdeenshire.”

The draft Policy Statement can be found at http://bit.ly/ShirePolicyStatement along with other related information.

Copies are also available for inspection at:

• The Town House, 34 Low Street, Banff, AB45 1AN
• Gordon House, Blackhall Road, Inverurie, AB51 3WA
• Viewmount, Arduthie Road, Stonehaven, AB39 2DQ

Responses can be shared by email at licensingpolicyreview@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or in writing to: Licensing Policy Review, Arduthie Road, Stonehaven, AB39 2DQ, by Thursday, September 13.