§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he has given to strengthening the arrangements for the licensing and supervision of entertainment venues, with particular reference to the elimination of drug dealing; what consideration he has given to introducing legislation on the licensing of stewards at such venues; and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
District and islands councils have powers to license places of public entertainment under section 41 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. The maximum penalty for holding an unlicensed public entertainment in circumstances where a licence under this provision is required was increased to £20,000 and/or six months' imprisonment by the Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act 1990.561W
Authorities take account of the views of the police and local authority departments such as environmental services and building control on such applications and may attach a wide range of conditions designed to improve control at entertainment venues. Such conditions may include a requirement that stewards be employed.
Entertainment venues may also be licensed under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 where a licensing board considers that premises are suitable for the sale of alcoholic liquor. Again the board may attach conditions to such a licence and may require the presence of door stewards.
Stewards may search persons who attend such functions with the person's consent. If consent is withheld, the person can be refused admission. In cases where suspect substances are found the person can be refused entry and police assistance summoned. There are no plans at present to introduce legislation on the licensing of stewards employed at entertainment venues. General guidelines on stewarding are contained in the "Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Pop Concerts and Similar Events" published by the Health and Safety Commission, the Home Office and the Scottish Office in October 1993.