Scotland - Consultation on Occasional Licences – Health Board responses

22 Jul

We have previously reported on the consultation undertaken by the Scottish Government on occasional licences which has recently closed - see

The Times is reporting that in their responses to the consultation, health officials have called for alcohol to be banned from sale at family events over concerns that children are being exposed to harmful drinking with the possible result that this “could result in summer events such as fairs and Highland Games going dry to prevent children copying adult behaviour”.

Responses from health boards across Scotland have recommended that no event which is marketed towards children or families be granted a licence.

NHS Lothian’s consultation response said: “It should be stated that occasional licences are not normally to be granted for events that are aimed at children and families such as school fairs, school discos and gala days.”

Officials at NHS Shetland recommended that councils generally not allow alcohol to be sold at events involving children. The Highland Alcohol & Drug Partnership said that children’s football and shinty matches or family fun days should not receive licences. “There is a real opportunity here to think about the ‘normalisation’ of alcohol and young people,” the group’s response said. “If a public health or societal ideal is for children to grow up and not be affected or harmed by alcohol then a rebuttal of a licence application is a step in the right direction.”

We will update on the Government’s response to the consultation when known and we have a perception of the broader range of responses received.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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