Licensing Standards Officer (LSO)
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 introduced the role of the Licensing Standards Officer (LSO), who is responsible under the Act for providing guidance and information to interested parties; ensuring compliance by licence holders; and providing a mediation service for the purpose of avoiding or resolving disputes.
Please note that the Licensing web pages are intended to guide you through the procedures associated with making an application for a licence. They are not intended to summarise relatively complex areas of the law. Anyone using these pages should obtain independent advice from their own solicitors or advice centre.
The Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) has a statutory role under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 which includes:
- To provide guidance to Licence holders, prospective Licence holders and members of the public on the legislation and on West Lothian Licensing Board policy;
- supervising compliance with the conditions on which licences are granted and ensuring premises are being run in accordance with operating plans contained within the licence granted for the premises;
- providing a mediation service where disputes have arisen between the Licence holder or any other person(s);
The LSO can also apply to the Licensing Board for a review of any Licence where there has been a failure to comply with a notice or any ground relevant to the licensing objectives; and are afforded powers to enter and inspect premises to ensure compliance with legislation and Board policy.
The LSO can also report the holder of a personal licence to the Licensing Board if they consider the licence holder has acted in a manner inconsistent with the licensing objectives.
The LSO must also be a member of the Local Licensing Forum
The LSO is consulted by the Licensing Board on most applications which are received by the Board and has a statutory role to respond to certain types of applications.
- Occasional Licence - an LSO may within 21 days of receipt of the notice of the application prepare and submit a report setting out the Officers comments on the application
- Extended Hours - an LSO must within 10 days of receipt of the notice of the application prepare and submit a report setting out the Officers comments on the applications
- Personal Licence - an LSO may within 21 days of receipt of notice respond by giving the Licensing Board any information the officer considers relevant
When preparing any report on an application the LSO will take into account the Boards current Policy statement and the five licensing objectives.
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 is based on five principles which are referred to in the act as the licensing objectives which are;
- preventing crime and disorder
- securing public safety
- preventing public nuisance
- protecting and improving public health
- protecting children and young persons from harm
The role of the LSO is seen as fundamental in ensuring the legislation delivers a social environment which is welcoming and safe for all.
An LSO is required under the 2005 Act to be fully trained and as such must have completed the prescribed SQA qualification within eighteen months of being appointed as an LSO.
This training does not allow an LSO to give legal advice or make applications or objections on behalf of any party.
During an inspection of your licensed premises you can expect to be asked to produce documents including, but not restricted to, the Premises Licence, staff training records and the authorisation for staff to sell or supply alcohol. Checks will also be made to ensure that mandatory notices are being displayed on the premises in accordance with the Licensing (Scotland) Act.
The premises pack that will be discussed during your inspection can be found in the downloads section on this page.
From 1 May 2018 Alcohol can only be sold at or above 50 pence per unit. For further information and guidance please visit the Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing webpage.
You can contact the LSO by email LSO@westlothian.gov.uk or by telephone on 01506 281861 (please leave a message if your call is not answered immediately) or by letter addressed to:
Licensing Standards Officer, Licensing Team, West Lothian Council, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6FF.