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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
U-turn on Glasgow pub glass ban
Glasses and bottles on a bar
The ban on glass will no longer be extended to most Glasgow pubs
Plans to ban glass in all of Glasgow's pubs by January 2007 to reduce violent attacks have been abandoned by the city's licensing board.

Instead only premises with the highest incidence of glass attacks will serve drinks in plastic or toughened glass.

This will remove about 95% of pubs from the direct requirements of the policy.

Councillor Gordon Macdiarmid, convener of the licensing board, said the decision to amend the policy had been a result of its "listening" role.

The ban is already in force in city centre clubs and pubs with late night entertainment licences.

Earlier this month the Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) lodged papers at the Court of Session opposing the enforced use of toughened or plastic glasses, after describing the ban as a "disproportionate response".

The case was due for a hearing later this week.

They now have the opportunity to prove that they can operate responsibly in the absence of a higher degree of regulation
Cllr Gordon Macdiarmid
Licensing board convener

Cllr Macdiarmid said the licensing board had supported the use of toughened glass or plastic in the interests of public safety.

He said many people had originally called for such a policy, including surgeons, victims of glass attacks, police, MSPs and the local press.

He added: "Further, there is no doubt whatsoever that the policy was needed and is working; the recent statistics showing a marked decline in glassing incidents in the city centre speak for themselves.

"Sadly, the policy has been consistently misrepresented in the press and a huge number of irrelevant and extraneous issues have been introduced.

Glass attacks

"This, regrettably, has led to a total misunderstanding by the public, of the board's concerns, approach and aims.

"Consequently the board, as a 'listening' board, has agreed to amend the policy to principally and proactively address premises having the highest incidence of glassing attacks."

Cllr Macdiarmid said publicans had claimed the policy would impose an unnecessary burden on their methods of operation.

"They now have the opportunity to prove that they can operate responsibly in the absence of a higher degree of regulation," he said.

Paul Waterson
It will help us as we try and get away from the bad image Glasgow's had
Paul Waterson
SLTA

Concern has been expressed that the enforced use of plastic glasses could give the wrong impression of Glasgow to visitors, discouraging them from coming to the city.

Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), said the decision was a victory for common sense.

"We look forward to be able to serve our customers as we always have and for the image of Glasgow it's very good," he said.

"It will help us as we try and get away from the bad image Glasgow has had. We've had some success with that but the glass ban would've done nothing to help that or tourism to the city."

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Lesley Sawers said it was a "sensible compromise".

She added: "At the end of last week we had a very constructive meeting with Councillor Macdiarmid, who listened to the points of view of our members and the business case we put forward.

"We both have the same aims - public safety and protecting the image and reputation of Glasgow, but without damaging the licensed, restaurant and hotel trades and the contribution they make to the city."




SEE ALSO
Pub glass ban faces legal fight
01 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
Licensee condemns city glass ban
10 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Clubs take glass out of Glasgow
05 Feb 06 |  Scotland
City backs glass bottle ban
27 Jan 04 |  Scotland
Takeaways face glass bottle ban
20 Nov 03 |  Scotland

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