It is in no small part that this level of response, with individual businesses and tourism stakeholders voicing concerns, that the Scottish Government have announced that they will delay the laying of their Licensing Order until November 2021. The Cabinet Secretary for Housing Shona Robison MSP set out their revised plans in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee which you can read in full here. In particular, we note the following:
“We remain committed to getting this legislation absolutely right. Our intention to lay the Licensing Order in September was predicated upon the consultation only highlighting minor points for revision. The consultation closed on 13 August and the Scottish Government received more than 1,000 responses to it. Whilst many of the points raised are familiar from previous consultations, there are some points that require careful consideration, especially if the competency of the legislation is being questioned. We also want to take the time to review all the consultation responses carefully to see what we can do to address genuine stakeholder concerns.”
We have already published our substantive, evidence-based consultation submission but as part of our engagement with government, the ASSC also held a meeting with Shona Robison on 18th August. During this meeting, we raised the following issues with the Cabinet Secretary:
The ASSC welcomed the constructive nature of the conversation. While some differences remain, we appreciate the Cabinet Secretary taking the time to speak with us and in our mutual desire for positive relations and a compromise which can satisfy industry concerns but also those from other affected stakeholders.
As ever, the ASSC will endeavour to update you on the latest developments on the licensing proposals and all other regulatory matters.