THE Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP met members of the South Ayrshire Licensing Board, and others with an interest in Licensing matters, at South Ayrshire Council’s Headquarters in Ayr.
The Chair of South Ayrshire Licensing Board, Councillor Douglas Campbell welcomed the Minister and said: “I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill found time in his busy schedule to come to South Ayrshire and talk to Board members, members of the Licensing forum, representatives of the licensed trade and some members of staff about licensing matters.
“It gave everyone a chance to hear first hand how implementing the new legislation is progressing nationally, as we are still in a transition phase until the new licensing system comes fully into effect on 1 September 2009.
The Minister talked about:
1. The new licensing system.
2. How it is being handled.
3. Any difficulties that have been overcome/may arise in the future.
4. South Ayrshire Licensing Board’s Draft Code of Practice for off-sales.
5. Irresponsible promotions in off-sales.
Speaking about his visit Kenny MacAskill said: “All too often crime and antisocial behaviour are fuelled by too much alcohol. It’s not the drink it’s how we’re drinking it. I am committed to taking action to address Scotland’s battle with the bottle and some of the measures in the Licensing Act will help us do so.
“I understand that South Ayrshire Licensing Board have taken common sense approach to helping licensees through the process. That’s why I was keen to take this opportunity to visit and to find out more about how they have found the process so far.