Revellers at the Delting Up-Helly-A’ hop will be able to party for an extra hour next month after an application for an extended licence was granted.
But council member Cecil Smith said that the licensing board needed to send out “a clear message” to their licensees that they would not allow a 2am closure to become the norm.
Councillors were irked that no explanation was provided by the Brae hall as to why they required the bar to remain open until 2am, other than for the Delting hop night.
Malcolm Bell said this was one “danger” of continually accepting these requests, as a 2am closure was beginning to be accepted as “the norm”.
He said that he worried the next step would be that halls would ask for an extension until 3am, with the hour between 2 and 3am designated as the “drinking-up time”.
Councillors George Smith, Alastair Cooper and Ian Scott spoke in favour of the extension though. Shetland north councillor Mr Cooper said that the hop night in Brae was “a big, big night” and that there had been “no significant problems” with the event to his knowledge.
That assertion was backed by police sergeant Martin Brill, in attendance at the meeting, who said that the extra hour “made no difference” to the police and that they had no objections.
Councillors resolved to approve the extension of the Brae hall’s licensing hours.