How can we help you...

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Town House. View directions

Contact: Garry Watson, tel. 01224 523057 or email 

No. Item


Minute of Meeting of 31 January 2018 - for approval pdf icon PDF 73 KB


The Forum had before it the minute of the previous meeting of 31 January 2018.


The minute was agreed as a true record of the meeting.


There were no matters arising from the minute.


The Forum resolved:-

to adopt the minute as a true record of the meeting.


Membership Updates


The Chairperson extended a warm welcome to Elaine Mottram who, as previously intimated, had replaced Peter Benton as the representative for Aberdeen Samaritans.


The Chairperson also introduced Martin Robb, a member of the on-sales Licence Trade, who had expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Forum following the recent licensing conference event.  The Forum welcomed Martin and acknowledged him as a new member.


The Forum resolved:-

to admit Elaine Mottram and Martin Robb as new members.


Ask for Angela Campaign - for discussion


The Chairperson referred to the Ask for Angela campaign and reminded the Forum that it was a Rape Crisis led initiative supported by the local Unight Group and the Forum, whereby a member of the public who found themselves in an unwanted situation could approach a member of staff and ‘ask for Angela’, whereby the staff member would assist them to leave the premises as quickly and discretely as possible.  He explained that the campaign was originally intended to assist those falling foul of the social media/internet dating scene, however it could be used by anyone who felt unsafe or at risk.


The Vice-Chairperson confirmed that the campaign was being operated by all Unight premises and said that it was definitely being used by members of the public and appeared to work very well.


The Chairperson provided a brief overview of the campaign and said that funding had been made available from Aberdeenshire and Moray, with a view to widening the campaign into those areas.  He suggested that this presented a good opportunity to refresh the campaign in the city as well.


There was a discussion about the best way to approach a poster campaign, with various suggestions coming forward, including the use of advertising frames located in many licensed premises toilet cubicles, as well as taxis and buses.


With respect to taxis and buses, members discussed the possibility of widening the campaign to include those environments.  The Chairperson noted that the wording of the current campaign was very much geared towards licensed premises, however he suggested that the campaign might be capable of being widened in consultation with Rape Crisis.


Martin recommended using vinyl stickers rather than paper posters for advertising purposes, as they were a similar price to produce but lasted much longer.  He also suggested that, for a modest fee, a marketing company would be able to increase the reach of any social media output exponentially.


Sarah advised that Robert Gordon University were in the process of creating a short campaign video, which was intended for social media.


Members asked if the campaign could be included in formal training, however Tara advised that, as it was not included in the Statement of Licensing Policy, training specific to campaigns etc. could not be incorporated into the formal licensing training programme. However, she suggested that it might be possible to make the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign part of the Best Bar None award scheme, which would encourage participating premises to operate the campaign and would also provide a measure of its success.


The Forum resolved:-

to note the verbal report.


Consultation on Statement of Licensing Policy - for discussion


There was a general discussion on the best way to respond to the Council’s consultation on the Statement of Licensing Policy.  Members felt that, although there were undoubtedly opposing views amongst the membership, there was some merit in the Local Licensing Forum trying to submit a single response.


Elaine Mottram suggested that it was actually beneficial to expose such dilemmas, so that the Council had the full picture.


Heather highlighted the Health Impact Assessment as a document which all stakeholders were familiar with and suggested that it would help to inform responses.


The Chairperson asked members to submit their contributions to the Clerk, who would then attempt to collate them into a coherent response for members to approve before submission.


Update from Police Scotland


The Chairperson reported that during the recent ‘local day of action’ the police had collaborated with the Licensing Standards Officers.  He added that another day of action was planned for 20th April.


He continued, saying that a lot of work was being done with the Licence Trade and the local authority to promote a collaborative approach to working, and that it was important for licensed premises to understand that, the fact the police had visited their premises, or an incident took place there, did not mean that there was a black mark against the premises.


The Chairperson referred to another campaign called ‘You’re Asking For it’, which he said was an initiative based in Motherwell geared towards combating proxy sales, i.e. Adults buying alcohol on behalf of children.


He explained that he had attended a Strathclyde presentation along with Licensing Standards Officers, where they were told that this had been a very significant problem in Motherwell, where youths would wait outside shops and importune random adults for the purposes of persuading the adults to buy alcohol for them.  He added that, whilst Aberdeen was not experiencing anything like the level of proxy sales reported in Motherwell, however the campaign was available if required.


There was a short discussion about CCTV at licensed premises, and more specifically footage which may require to be used as evidence in court.  Martin Robb provided an anecdote regarding footage which was deemed inadmissible in court on account of the fact that the licensed premises’ CCTV system had not been registered with the Office of The Information Commissioner.


The Forum agreed to explore the possibility of making the registration of licensed premises CCTV systems part of the licensing conditions by including it in the statement of Licensing Policy.


The Forum resolved:-

to note the verbal report.


Update from Licensing Standards Officer


Tara also referred to having attended the ‘You’re Asking For It’ campaign presentation along with the Chairperson and said that work was ongoing to see if there was a need to introduce the campaign in Aberdeen, where it was far less of a problem.  She added that campaign focussed on disrupting and deterring the behaviour, rather than enforcement.


The Forum resolved:-

to note the update.


Update from Unight Representative


Sarah Wheeler advised that the Unight AGM was due next month and the group was currently evaluating its own effectiveness, saying that, although there was a large amount of email correspondence associated with the group, it did not translate into attendances at meetings, which had been relatively poor.


Sarah advised that ‘Project Winston’, a campaign aimed at mental health awareness was currently being rolled out and Bystander training was being refreshed.  She added that the group was also looking at the issue of disability access and what improvements could be made in that area.


The Forum resolved:-

to note the update.


Update from NHS Grampian and Alcohol and Drugs Partnership


Heather Wilson advised that, following publication of the Health Impact Assessment, the NHS went ‘on camera’ to speak to Childline as part of an initiative to create an informative video, although the final editing had still to be done.  The Forum agreed that they would like to see the finished video and Heather said she would organise this once it became available.


There was a discussion around minimum unit pricing (MUP); more specifically the requirement to calculate the cost of drinks based on the amount of alcohol by volume and the confusion that might arise for licensees and/or premises staff as a result.  Martin asked if there was an online calculator for this purpose and Tara replied that there was, however she added that wholesalers had so far been very helpful in providing appropriate guidance for retailers as well.


The Forum heard that MUP was likely to have a heavier impact on parts of the off-sales industry.  Many had started to remove strong cider from sale and one independent Aberdeen off-sales premises was planning to close.


Heather advised Forum members regarding a ‘Hackathon’ event being organised by RGU for 19/20 May 2018, which would bring together people with various technical expertise in computing, science and web development etc.


Heather explained that it was not hacking in the sense of trying to defeat secure computer systems.  It was simply an intense problem solving session. Working together, these people would bring all their problem solving expertise to bear on the matters presented to them in order come up with solutions.  She advised that, for the purposes of this event, the issues that were being considered for hacking were to do with low and no alcohol drinks products, and how technology might be used to promote them/increase their market share.


The Forum resolved:-

to note the update.


Update from Children's Services Representative


Deferred to next meeting.




There was a discussion around the renewal of personal licences/refresher training.  The most recent advice that Tara had received was that individuals should undertake training until further advice was received from the Scottish Government, however members representing the Trade were extremely concerned.  They said they were aware that a huge number of licence renewals/training needed to be done before August 2019.  Martin suggested that there were around 44K personal licence holders in Scotland and, with a finite number of training companies available, the training situation would be unmanageable unless there was movement on the issue very soon.  There were also the cost implications for larger companies as the training window got squeezed into a shorter and shorter period.


The Forum agreed to contact the Licensing Team Leader for advice.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 13 June 2018.


The Forum resolved:-

to contact the Licensing Team Leader for advice concerning the Personal Licence Training.

-Kenny McGeough, Chairperson