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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

SGF ACS Briefing on New Licensing Bill

SGF and ACS have expressed strong concerns about proposals to introduce a new licensing objective alongside the extension of overprovision powers in Scotland.

As part of its stage one scrutiny of the Air Weapons and Licensing Bill, the Scottish Parliament Local Government Committee has recommended that a new objective aimed at reducing alcohol consumption should be implemented. This would be in addition to the five licensing objectives which Boards in Scotland currently have to abide by.

SGF has worked jointly with the Association of Convenience Stores to produce a briefing paper for all MSPs in advance of a full parliamentary debate on the Bill and his written directly to the Convenor of the Committee, Kevin Stewart MSP to highlight the concerns of local shops.

SGF Head of Public Affairs John Lee said; “The Committee has pulled this out from nowhere. The draft Bill from the Scottish government did not contain this proposal and it was not mentioned in the original consultation. We feel such an objective would be unworkable – reducing consumption is best dealt with through the existing objective to promote public health.”

 ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The existing Scottish licensing objectives significantly restrict the sale and promotion of alcohol already.  The proposal for an additional overconsumption objective is unworkable and will significantly hamper positive investment from convenience retailers in communities across Scotland.”

Download Briefing Paper Here