In response to George Smith’s letter regarding the granting of late licenses to Mareel until 2am and the pertinent points raised by Scottish Licensed Trades Association secretary Colin Wilkinson, I would like to point out the following important details which Mr Smith failed to address.
Firstly, the executive manager of Shetland Islands Council’s environmental health and trading standards department and also the chief inspector of the Northern Constabulary both observed that the applications were outwith licensing policy.
Also, as Mr Smith was on the board of Shetland Arts, we feel he had vested interest in the application and although not legally, but morally, he should have withdrawn from the process as his judgment could not have been neutral by any means.
The previous board must be commended for sticking by its licensing policy ensuring all outlets knew where they stood. A nightclub is defined as a premises which only opens late at night, and the specific area is not used for any other purpose. We as an association feel that the floodgates are now open for multiple applications for a plethora of buildings all over Shetland to simply re-invent themselves as nightclubs at the weekends.
We ask Mr Smith: would these premises as referred to above receive the same the same kind of favour? I think we all know the answer to that question.
Shetland Licensed Trades Association
c/o The Lounge Bar,