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The following information explains the changes we have had to make to our licensing processes to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

Everyone has a role to play in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Licence holders, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are reminded to follow Government advice including advice on isolation if you have symptoms:

General Guidelines on Changes to the our Licensing service

Face to Face Appointments

There are currently no Licensing staff available at the Municipal Buildings. If you need to speak to a member of staff you should email licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

Please include your contact telephone number and the nature of your enquiry and someone will be in touch.

Committee and Board Meetings

We will update this section regarding the holding of future Licensing Boards and Licensing Committees as the situation develops.

If you are scheduled to attend a future meeting of the Licensing Committee or Licensing Board then please do not attend at this stage. Licensing Staff will contact you directly about alternative arrangements once they are known. 

Submitting Applications

Customers are still able to apply for grants, renewals and variations. During this period there may be significant delays in processing applications. Anyone making an application which requires additional documentation should send their documents electronically to licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

During this period applications should be submitted online via the Council website or via email with the application attached along with the necessary documentation.  

If you require a paper copy of an application please request one at the above email address and it will be sent to you electronically.

Any necessary documentation should accompany the application. If you do not have scanned/electronic copies of documents you can provide photographs. Images of documents must be clear and legible. Please check they are clear and legible before submitting them.

Currently we are unable to accept applications by normal mail. We will update this section once the position changes.

Please be aware that it may take some time to review and process your application.

If you plan to submit a renewal application please read our guidance for existing licence holders.

Guidance for Existing Licence Holders

Your Licence is Due to Expire

Currently, on good cause being shown, a licensing authority may deem an application for renewal of a licence made up to 28 days after the expiry of the licence to be an application made before the expiry. This period is now extended to 3 months during the duration of the coronavirus emergency.  This will be reviewed by the Licensing authority as required.

In practice, if your licence expires on 1 April 2020 you will now have until 1 July 2020 to submit an application for renewal at the latest. Similarly if your licence expires on 15 June 2020 you will now have until 15 September 2020 to submit an application for renewal at the latest. Failure to apply before the last available date will result in the expiry of your licence following which you would be required to submit a fresh application for a grant if you wished to continue operating. This would result in you having to wait between the period of grant application and the time it will take to process and issue the licence before you could resume.

Guidance relating to Public Processions, Permits to Engage in Activities and Public Charitable Collections

Public Processions and Permits to Engage in Activities

Currently we will not be able to process any notifications of Public Processions or applications to engage in activities under the Management Rules for Shopping Centres.

Public Charitable Collections and House to House Collections

Although we appreciate that charities rely on income from both house to house collections and public charitable collections the close contact involved in carrying these out is against current government guidelines and we would ask any potential applicants to bare this in mind.

Guidance for Public Entertainment Licence Holders

Rescheduled Events

If you have already lodged a Public Entertainment Licence and wish to re-schedule your event to another date(s), please email licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk   and we will look into availability of dates once the situation allows. 

If you do wish to have your event on another date you will not be charged by the Licensing Authority for the change of date. The Licensing Authority will require you to submit a new application however the fee will be taken as paid.

Further Guidance

We will continue to update this guidance as necessary. If you have an urgent specific query you can contact us by email at licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk  Please be patient at this time as we are experiencing a high volume of enquiries and there may be a delay in the time we take to respond.

Update: Please note that the Scottish Parliament has now approved legislation which amends the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. The act can be found here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/114929.aspx

This legislation, which is still awaiting Royal Assent is called the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and makes various changes relating to alcohol licensing aimed at lessening the impact that the coronavirus pandemic might have on licence holders.

The more relevant changes will be summarised below. Where possible, instructions to licence holders on the West Dunbartonshire approach to these matters will also be included.

This act also makes several changes to the Licensing Act which are not listed below. These other changes are more technical in nature and relate more to procedural matters than they do the running any maintenance of licences. It should be noted that there are potentially wide-reaching amendments to licensing board hearings, and as such licence holders and agents are advised to make contact in advance of submitting applications such as new premises licence applications or major variations.

Finally, it should be noted that these amendments only vary the Licensing Act for an initial period of 6 months.

Premises Opening

Generally the only licensed premises which should currently be operating are Off-Sales premises. However, On-Sales premises are permitted to be open to allow for the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises. For the avoidance of doubt, a pub which has off sales in its premises licence can also provide alcohol to takeaway or via home delivery.

Home deliveries should normally be specified in the operating plan as per the Board’s Statement of Licensing Policy. However, at such times the Board will permit such deliveries and would expect that should this service be provided long term that a major variation application be submitted in due course to amend the operating plan. We would ask that such premises contact us in this regard.  We will monitor this position and premises should be aware that we feel there is inappropriate use of this facility then we retain the right to review.

We would also ask that any on-sales premises which are open, or intend to open to serve food for take-away inform us of this via licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk.

The delivery of alcohol can only occur in line with Section 119 of the Licensing Act, which requires that the following be in place:

  • There should be a day book kept on the premises from which the alcohol is despatched.
  • There should be a delivery book or invoice carried by the person delivering the alcohol.
  • That information relating to the quantity, description and price of the alcohol, and the name and address of the person to whom it is to be delivered must be entered on both the day book and delivery book/invoice.

Premises Licence Holders are advised to follow all guidance in relation to measures aimed at reducing the spread of the Coronavirus within their premises, such as social distancing. For more information on this please click the following links

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19.

https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-and-social-distancing-guidance/

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/

Members Clubs such as Bowling or Golf Clubs

29.5.2020 from this date, certain outdoor sporting venues may open and operate, subject to social distancing measures for local residents only (The Scottish Government advises that only travel of up to 5 miles should be considered to be local) . The Licensing Board welcomes the reintroduction of such outdoor recreational activities in the premises which hold licences issued by this Board, however operators of such venues are reminded that the sale, supply or service of alcohol or other foodstuffs is still not permitted at this time.

Submitting Applications

Customers are still able to apply for grants, renewals and variations. During this period there may be delays in processing applications.

Operating Plans

Please note that changes to the legislation allow on-sales premises to serve food for take away and delivery without the need to vary the licence. We would request that any premises which intends to open for this purpose informs us of this.

Any premises licence holders seeking to diversify their operation, for instance to amend the premises layout plan to allow for more flexibility on their shop floor then they should contact licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk. Where possible, the Licensing Board will strive to take a pragmatic approach to such requests.

Designated Premises Managers (DPMs)

If a DPM ceases to be the named manager on a premises licence then normally the premises licence holder has 7 days to notify the licensing board that the DPM has left. Thereafter the premises licence holder has 6 weeks from the date that the DPM left to nominate a new manager on the licence.

This has now been changed. If a DPM stops working in a premises then the premises licence holder now has 28 days to inform the licensing board that the manager has left, thereafter the licence holder now has 3 months in which to nominate a new manger on the licence.

Personal Licence Holder (PLH)

Renewal

The previous requirement which states that a PLH must apply to renew a personal licence no later than 3 months in advance of the expiry date of the licence has been amended. Now the last date that a personal licence holder can apply to renew their licence is the day before the expiry date.

Training 

Personal Licence holders are required to undergo refresher training every five years and to provide a copy of their training certificate to the Licensing Board.

Now, provided that Licensing Board is satisfied that the coronavirus outbreak means completion of necessary training cannot be done in line with the timescales specified in the Act, the West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board will allow a 3 month extension in order that the licence holder can provide evidence of having undertaken the required training. The licensing board also has the power to extend this period by a further 3 months upon application by the licence holder.

Any personal licence holders affected by these changes should notify us, quoting your name and personal licence number at licensing@west-dunbarton.gov.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)