The SLTA and UK Hospitality have written to the Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, expressing concern over the Scottish Government’s decision not to extend the renewal date for personal licence holders (PLHs).
Last month, the Scottish Government stepped in with emergency legislation designed to ease the burden on licensing boards responsible for processing personal licence renewal applications.
However, in a letter to Ms Denham, SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson and Willie Macleod, executive director, Scotland, UK Hospitality, said: “We are deeply concerned that while secondary legislation has been introduced to give licensing boards extra time to determine renewal applications for personal licences, no such reprieve has been offered to assist personal licence holders themselves.
“With estimates suggesting that only a third of the expected applications have been submitted by the renewal application deadline of 31st May, the plight of thousands of personal licence holders cannot be ignored by the Scottish Government.
“What must be remembered is that the Scottish Government and, in some cases, licensing boards, are partially responsible for the situation personal licence holders find themselves in.
“The Scottish Government dragged its heels on confirming what the personal licence renewal training requirement would be, and then communications from some licensing boards on the renewal process were incorrect. We are aware that one particular licensing board sent out three separate communications to all personal licence holders on their records and all three communications were incorrect and misleading.
“The Government has obviously realised the severity of the situation for licensing boards and taken remedial action to help resolve this – the Government has to do the same for individual personal licence holders.
“Both our organisations request an urgent meeting with you to discuss this further.”
The SLTA’s online training facility has been launched in partnership with Edinburgh-based Flow Hospitality Training for those looking to refresh or renew their PLH Certificate.