At a recent review hearing under the Licensing Act 2003 held at the Council Offices of ELDC, 16 June 2017, in a matter relating to an assault on an individual where it is suspected a glass was used, the Chairman of the Licensing Act 2003 Committee, councillor Robert J. Palmer, who was the chair of the Licensing Sub Committee for the meeting imposed a condition, agreed by the sub committee, on the premises licence for the Marine Boathouse Skegness in that all drinks shall be served in plastic, paper or toughened glass, except for teas, coffees, or other similar drinks which can be served in porcelain, china or other similar materials, vessels, at any other time.
Councillor Palmer then went on to say;
‘The conditions that we’ve laid on reference glasses, or the drinking vessels, won’t just happen in your establishment, I shall be talking to Mr Twiddy, and the police, and we will try and make that an all through Skegness, and through the area, so that nobody has dangerous glasses. The incident could have happen at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it could have happened any time, so in future I am going to try and get all premises, will have this type of glass.’
When asked by Kurnia Licensing Consultants if this meant mean that no bottles, unless they are made from toughened glass or plastic may be served either over the bar or at a table (i.e a bottle of wine cannot be served to a table in a restaurant), principal licencing officer, of the ELDC licensing section confirmed, in an email to Kurnia Licensing Consultants, that the intention was ‘no glass bottles may be served either over the bar or at a table’.
This clearly could have huge consequences on many businesses and not limited to bars and clubs but also restaurants.
Michael Kheng of Kurnia Licensing Consultants said;
‘We cannot see why ELDC would not want bottles of wine to be sold at tables in restaurants or children to have pop and the like served in a bottle with a stray. We feel the council have over reacted in this matter and to say that the council will attempt to make this a standard policy not only across Skegness but though out the area is crazy. It could have huge implications on many responsible businesses as well as send out a message to thousands of visitors to Skegness and the district that East Lindsey is a dangerous place to visit. We shall be fighting on behalf of our clients and the trade to ensure this does not become the standard.’
‘What was said is contrary to the councils Statement of Licensing Policy that states at 5.5, regarding the use of toughened or plastic drinking glasses, that states, the Licensing Authority believes that a risk-based, rather than blanket, approach to requiring licensed premises to use safer alternatives is the best way to tackle the problem of glass-related injuries.’
‘It also goes against the Home Office S182 Guidance that clearly states at 10.8;
The licensing authority may not impose any conditions unless its discretion has been exercised following receipt of relevant representations and it is satisfied as a result of a hearing (unless all parties agree a hearing is not necessary) that it is appropriate to impose conditions to promote one or more of the four licensing objectives. In order to promote the crime prevention licensing objective conditions may be included that are aimed at preventing illegal working in licensed premises. This provision also applies to minor variations.’
‘Restaurants must be able to sell bottles of wine to the table and children able to have bottle of pop as well as customers able to have beer by the bottle. At the end of the day the incident involved a glass and not a bottle so we see no reason why the council are seeking a blanket ban on bottles. After 12 years of the Licensing Act 2003 being in place we are still seeing conditions are wrong. What authorities should be doing is looking at the consequences of a condition. In this case by stating all drinks shall be served in plastic, paper or toughened glass, expect for tea and coffee means nothing else can be used. The old fashioned pewter or steel tankard for example cannot be used as it is not paper, plastic or toughened glass. We have always encouraged and suggested what should not be used rather than what should be used with these types of conditions.’