Move to ban alcohol from events in North-east council premises when children are around

Approach: Aberdeenshire Council is looking at banning alcohol from places.

Alcohol could be banned at events in North-east council properties when children are present.

South Aberdeenshire Licensing Forum is discussing the possibility of a booze ban for such events in council buildings, particularly schools.

The move comes after Catriona Matheson, health research consultant at NHS Grampian, found a link between parents drinking at home and higher levels of alcohol use among youngsters, which was likely to cause problems in future.

And in an effort to reduce the risk of children being attracted to drink, a consultation is considering events they attend which have applied for “occasional licences” to sell alcohol.

The group will meet on Wednesday.

If agreed, all three licensing boards in Aberdeenshire will be informed.

A green light for the move could lead to alcohol being banned in buildings such as schools for events.

A report by John Kinsella, chairman of South Aberdeenshire Licensing Forum, said: “It was felt necessary to persuade the board to consider children’s exposure to alcohol during the children-based events when granting occasional licences and to not support the applications for events associated with youngsters where they are organised in schools or council-owned premises.

“It was also proposed to check whether there is room for adopting a no alcohol at council’s premises’ policy.

“Following on from the discussion, it was agreed to contact Central and North Licensing Forums to raise the issue of exposure of young people to alcohol during the children-oriented events and to initiate the consultation process in this respect.”

Peter Argyle, convener of South Aberdeenshire Licensing Board, who is also part of the forum, said: “The hope is the three forums will put this to the three licensing boards for them to consider if there needs to be a change of policy to accommodate this. If the licensing boards agree with this, the policy would change.

“This would mean young people don’t grow up thinking alcohol is normal. For example, if there was a fundraiser in the school attended by children and parents where alcohol was being consumed.”