Number of personal alcohol licences down

THIRTY personal alcohol licences were revoked in Shetland during the last financial year due to the holder failing to provide evidence they undertook refresher training, according to new figures.

As of 31 March there were 345 personal licences in force in Shetland – a drop of 64 from the same time last year.

The figures were presented to a meeting of the Shetland licensing board on Monday morning.

Assistant clerk to the board Paul Wishart said that people allow their licences to expire for a variety of reasons, explaining why a number of them are revoked each year.

When selling alcohol on licensed premises, the sale must be authorised generally or specifically by a personal licence holder.

They are required for designated premises managers, while other members of staff who authorise sales or conduct training need one.

Refresher training is now obligatory after holding a licence for five years, and evidence requires to be submitted to the licensing authority, with failure to comply meaning individuals will have their licences revoked.

People must also apply to renew their personal licence every ten years.

The annual figures presented to the licensing board also showed that as of 31 March there were 150 premises licenses in force in Shetland. This is a decrease of five on the previous year.

During the last financial year 126 occasional licences were granted.

The board also made a surplus of £13,431 during the year, with income from licensing fees reaching nearly £59,000.

At Monday’s meeting the board also agreed to grant extensions to various licensing deadlines for coronavirus related reasons.

This includes the deadline for producing evidence of undertaking refresher training – something which Wishart said was one of the key areas where coronavirus restrictions has caused problems.

Westside councillor Catherine Hughson asked if the extensions would allow greater flexibility for people working in community halls once they reopen for events.

“It will certainly affect them,” Wishart said of hall staff and the pandemic. “They will be able to come and apply for an extension.”

He encouraged anyone with questions to get in touch with the board.