Glasgow board in retail U-turn

25 June, 2010

Thirteen Glasgow supermarkets are extending the space they devote to alcohol despite attempts from the licensing board to stop them.

Last month the board used powers granted under the Licensing (Scotland) Act to refuse permission to Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer to increase their drinks displays.

The decision was made because retailers could not prove their plans would promote public health, a condition which forms part of Scottish licensing law.

The board was advised the ruling was unlikely to survive an appeal, and this week it reversed its decision.

Board chairman Stephen Dornan said, while its original stance had been “entirely justified”, the law was “flawed” because it did not allow councillors to get endorsement for their health-based objections.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association welcomed the U-turn. “We always thought licensing laws were being misinterpreted,” said a spokesman.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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