Written warning to be sent to Spiggie Hotel

A stern warning is to be sent to the Spiggie Hotel after it fell short in licence fee payments.

Members of the Shetland Area Licensing Board have unanimously agreed to write to the licence holder over its failure to pay fees.

Last month board members agreed a review should be held amid concerns a mandatory fee had not been fully paid.

It is the second time the hotel has come to the attention of the board for the non-payment of fees. A written warning was also dispatched in 2018 following a meeting in December that year.

Other options open to the board included taking no action at all, making a variation of the licence or, alternatively, suspending or revoking the licence.

But council solicitor Keith Adam told today’s review hearing full payment had subsequently been made following a conversation with the hotel’s sole director, Christopher Lee.

Mr Lee had cited Covid restrictions as a major trading difficulty for the hotel throughout the last year.

The meeting heard Mr Lee was unable to attend the meeting due to an “unavoidable commitment”. But Mr Adam said the licence holder “specifically said he wished to apologise to the board”.

Lerwick North councillor Stephen Leask said the tone of correspondence from Mr Lee had shown contrition.

“It has been a rather difficult time for the trade. Mr Lee has looked at this rather laxly and has openly been very contrite in his explanation,” he said.

“I feel we should look at this in a lenient fashion.”

However, Shetland North councillor Alastair Cooper pointed to a previous time when the Spiggie Hotel had come to the attention of the board.

“He [Mr Lee] kent what the process was and he ignored the process. The least he should get away with is a written warning,” he said.

Alastair Cooper.

Mr Cooper added any further “aberrations” should be given “far more consideration” by the board.

His motion for a written warning was seconded by Mr Leask. He also urged Mr Adam to seek official notification from Mr Lee of a change of address for correspondence, after hearing staff had encountered initial difficulties in contacting the licence holder.

Lerwick South councillor Stephen Flaws said the “onus is on everybody” to make sure they make their payments.

“Everybody’s been in the same position,” he said.

A written warning would certainly enforce the issue.”

Members previously heard arrangements had been in place for the South Mainland hotel to pay its £280 fee in four equal instalments of £70.


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