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Business / Licensing board set to hold reviews into unpaid fees

REVIEWS could be held into some of Shetland premises after they failed to pay licence fees on time.

Reviews will take place if two premises do not pay up come 5pm on Friday.

There are still outstanding annual premises licence fees for the Toab Shop and the Pierhead bar, although both are currently closed.

A meeting of the Shetland licensing board on Monday morning also heard that the Sella Ness accommodation lodge had not yet paid its £900 annual fee, although councillors were told payment was attempted last week.

Operator Sodexo confirmed on Monday afternoon that the fee has now been paid.

A report presented to a meeting of the board heard that five premises in total had failed to pay their annual premises licence fee on time.

However, since the report was published online last week Saffron and the Spiggie Hotel paid up.

Their licences ranged between £220 and £280, while the Sella Ness charge was £900.

Annual fees are due on 1 October each year, and reminders are sent to premises which fail to pay up on time.

The board ultimately has the power to revoke or suspend premise licences.

SIC lawyer Paul Wishart said there can also be problems in contacting licence holders.

“Perhaps people move and things happen in their lives, and they don’t update their contact details,” he said.

But Wishart said the board would not give up on unpaid fees and instead would treat it as a debt if premises are closed.

Lerwick North and Bressay councillor Stephen Leask meanwhile remarked on the time and cost of chasing up unpaid fees.

Shetland West member Liz Peterson moved that reviews be held into any licences not paid by the end of the week.

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