Alcohol Focus Scotland recently developed a new toolkit to help people raise concerns about the impact of alcohol in their local community.
‘Alcohol licensing in your community: how you can get involved’ outlines action that people can take about problems alcohol is causing in their local area. It also explains how the licensing process works in Scotland and provides practical assistance for people who want to get involved but aren’t sure where to start.
To make it easier for people to get in touch with people who may be able to help them, Alcohol Focus Scotland has also produced a list of contact details for the licensing board, local licensing forum and licensing standards officers in each local area.
An interactive version of the toolkit and the contact list can be found on Alcohol Focus Scotland’s website here. We have also attached a print version of the toolkit. While these documents are in colour, these are designed also to print in black and white.
We hope this toolkit will empower people to play a more active role in their local community, particularly in helping them to speak up about issues that concern them. Given the important role licensing forums have in enabling communities to engage on local licensing issues, we would welcome any support you can offer in making this information available to communities in your area, for example by placing the toolkit on the forum’s website, encouraging your membership to distribute the toolkit through their channels, and encouraging your local licensing board to place it on their website or to signpost to the toolkit on the Alcohol Focus Scotland website.
The toolkit is designed to be used across Scotland, and therefore cannot address the individual practices of local licensing boards. We would encourage local licensing boards and forums who have not already done so to consider whether provision of local information about licensing board procedures and processes would be a useful supplement to this national resource.
It also should be noted that the toolkit does not reflect the upcoming changes to licensing law being introduced by the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015. We will therefore be updating the toolkit in a few months’ time once these changes come into effect. There will be an opportunity at that time to make other changes to the toolkit and we would therefore welcome any feedback you have about the ways in which the toolkit could be improved.