Entertainment Clubs

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 2:17 pm on 25th January 1995.

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Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 2:17 pm, 25th January 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider introducing legislation to license entertainment clubs in Scotland.

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 requires an entertainment licence to be obtained from the local licensing board where alcohol is to be sold for consumption in a place of public entertainment during the permitted hours. In other circumstances, controls may be exercised under section 41 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which enables local authorities to require places of public entertainment in their areas to be licensed.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley

I am grateful to the Minister for that helpful answer. Does he agree that there is a serious gap in the law in that the Hangar 13 club is allowed to operate in spite of the fact that there have been a number of prosecutions for drug dealing at the club? Secondly, on a cross-party basis, Kyle and Carrick district council has voted to withdraw the liquor licence. Thirdly, there is now a fatal accident inquiry into three tragic deaths at that venue. Is not it a mockery of the law that the club is allowed to operate as if nothing had happened?

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

Of course, I entirely accept the hon. Gentleman's concern about Hangar 13. On, I think, 22 November last year, Kyle and Carrick licensing board resolved to suspend the licence on the grounds that the use of the premises caused undue public nuisance or a threat to public order or safety. We are considering whether it would be helpful and practicable to promote model conditions in licences for raves. We shall consult local authority licensing boards and police interests on that.