FOI Request - Beer Gardens and Similar Outdoor Spaces

Request 101002540174

I would like to obtain the following information in relation to the local authority’s licencing authority.

1. What guidance or advice was prepared by the licensing authority about the potential reopening of beer gardens or similar outdoor spaces on 19 June.

2. How many premises did the licensing authority contact or visit from 1 June to 19 June to offer any advice or guidance on the potential reopening of beer gardens or similar outdoor spaces on 19 June?

3. How many complaints has the council received since 19 June (inclusive) about Beer Gardens and similar outdoor spaces not being reopened by the Scottish Government as planned. Please provide copies of this correspondence.

Response 28-08-2020

1. We did not issues any formal guidance re possible opening of beer gardens etc on 19 June  - we were waiting until the position was confirmed by the Scottish Government and the opening date was then delayed to 6 July. For premises who have how had occasional licences granted from 6 July we have issued the following guidance

" Please find attached your occasional licence. This is an open ended licence which is issued with the following caveats:
-          Trading must be in accordance with the law and Scottish Government guidance on social distancing in force from time to time;
-          During the term of the open ended licence, the Board will reserve the ability to call in, vary or revoke the licence if it is considered necessary to do so in the interests of the licensing objectives, including promoting public health.
-          During the term of the licence if the operator wishes to make changes then they may have to apply afresh for another (open ended) licence which would automatically cancel the first on implementation.
-          Whilst the licence will be open ended, it will not be indefinite. The position will be regularly reviewed and reviews may also be tied to the Phases of recovery. The end of the licence will be made clear. Given that announcements are made at relatively short notice, a review may be necessary at short notice.
-          Once such licences are no longer necessary, any premises wishing to retain the use of particular areas and/or facilities will be required to apply for a variation of their premises licence, which will be considered in the usual way.

The most up to date guidance can be found on both the Scottish Government website  and on the food standards Scotland website which also includes risk assessments and checklists which will be useful to you.

You must read and follow the guidance yourself. It is your responsibility to comply.
Every premises is different so we cannot offer general advice. In addition, you know your premises best so you are also best placed to implement appropriate measures. What is appropriate will be determined by your own risk assessment.

There are a great many practical considerations, such as:
One way systems e.g. for entry/exit/toilets together with appropriate signage. By now we are all familiar with such systems  employed by shops.
Appropriate spacing/screening clearly marked with signs as appropriate.
Table service or an app-based ordering system with contactless payment wherever possible.
Increased cleaning regimes throughout premises including toilets.
All spaces are your responsibility to monitor, particularly outdoors e.g. for anti-social behaviour, noise and rubbish.
Consider the need for and use of any structure, such as a marquee, very carefully. Structures have both safety and building standards requirements, which are your responsibility. Make sure, for example, there are no sides for an outdoor space.
It is not just the customers. Social distancing, hygiene etc must also be in place for staff areas.

We can appreciate the desire and need to get up and running as soon as possible but please take the time to get it right.

During this time you may be visited by the police, Environmental Health and/or Trading Standards, especially if complaints arise. Please, therefore, be mindful of your neighbours.

Due to the evolving situation guidance is being issued on a regular basis from the Scottish Government. We attach a link to the Scottish Government website and safer public spaces guidance which will be relevant to yourselves re-opening:  "

2. We did not visit any premises between 1-19 June as a result of COVID restrictions but had informal discussions with various premises about the preparations they were making.

3.  In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, information not held, we can confirm that no records of any such complaints being made to the Council. 

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