Over 80% of North Ayrshire pubs, clubs and restaurants are in danger of losing their licence because they have not completed vital training.
The surprising figure relates to national regulations, which state that in order to operate legally, licensed premises must have a Premises Manager who holds a Personal Licence, and that this person must be on the premises for them to operate after 1.00am. All Personal Licence holders who received their accreditation before September 1st 2009 must complete refresher training by the end of August 2014. The person is also responsible for informing North Ayrshire Licensing Board that they have carried out the training by December 1st of this year. Should they fail to complete the training or inform the Board – and 80% are currently in that position - their licence will be automatically revoked.
The national legislation makes no provision for a hearing, appeal or deadline-extension and cannot be altered by individual Licensing Boards.
North Ayrshire Licensing Board has written to all local Premises Licence holders, informing them that they must either hold or employ the holder of a Personal Licence. The board has also issued deadline reminder letters including information on the requirements.
Cllr Ronnie McNicol, Chair of the Licensing Board, said, “I would like to impress on licensed premises just how important it is to undertake refresher training.
“As a Board, we are obliged to uphold national licensing laws. This means that, should premises fail to complete the training or inform us when they do, there will be no option but to revoke their licence, with no recourse to appeal.
“This is obviously a concern with so many premises having failed to complete the training with just two months remaining before the deadline.”
Cllr McNicol, who represents Saltcoats & Stevenston, urged licence holders to “make sure they sign-up for the refresher training at the earliest possible opportunity”.