Christmas Humbug

Pedants spoil christmas over petty laws

3rd December

Miserable Britain...

Norwich council shites threaten traders offering a christmas glass of wine

Wishing you a miserable christmas
from all at Norwich Council

A Hairdressers who offer their customers a festive glass of mulled wine at Christmas have been warned that they face six months in jail and a £20,000 fine.

The threat was made by council chiefs, who even announced that they will send officers into salons under cover in an effort to catch offenders. Hairdressers have criticised the move as "Scrooge-like".

Norwich City Council wrote to all hairdressing businesses in the city ordering them to get a licence if they want to serve alcoholic drinks. Sent to 104 salons in Norwich, the letter states that the practice of serving complimentary alcoholic drinks is a breach of the law and requires various licences.

It then warns: To address this issue enforcement action, including the use of undercover officers, may be undertaken in the near future.

The council also declares that anyone found guilty of unlawfully supplying alcohol could face a maximum of six months in jail, a maximum fine of £20,000 or both.

Nigel Matthews, owner of Nigel Alexandre salon, said: The vast majority of salons serve tea and coffee throughout the year and in the couple of weeks before Christmas offer a glass of wine or mulled wine or sherry. It seems very Scrooge-like to send a letter out just as we are entering the festive period. It is traditional, the clients are rewarded and it is all part of the customer service.

What struck me was the potential sentence you get a lot less than that for a lot more than serving a glass of wine.

A council spokesprat said that under the 2003 Licensing Act sale by retail includes providing alcohol to customers as part of the service. He added that a letter of complaint was received last month about salons offering drinks.

We wanted to make sure small businesses did not unwittingly fall foul of the law while trying to spread a little Christmas cheer in the build-up to the festive season, he said.

Michael Stephenson, misery services manager, said: We accept the letter we sent out to hairdressers in the city may not appear to be in keeping with the festive mood and are sorry if it has been misunderstood... HOWEVER ...we are a licensing authority and there is a serious message here about the enforcement of licensing laws and helping businesses make sure they do not fall foul of the law."


24th December

Update: PC Humbug...

Police send out the christmas message that they are pedantic arseholes

Wishing you a miserable christmas
from all at Norwich Council

Police have used anti-social behaviour laws to stop shopkeepers handing out mulled wine to customers as part of a village's Christmas celebrations.

Traders are angry that officers from Fife Constabulary moved in to stamp out a practice that has been a tradition in Anstruther for 17 years.

They have been told they must apply for an alcohol licence in future for the event, which begins the East
Neuk community's festive season.

Police said shopkeepers were sending out the wrong message when officers were trying to tackle alcohol abuse and underage drinking in the area.

The festive tipple was handed out by several shops when they stayed open late two weeks ago.

Martin Dibley, the secretary of the Royal Burgh of Kilrenny, Anstruther and District Community Council, said: It's a bit of 'bah, humbug'.

Another trader said: Giving adults a glass of spicy mulled wine to celebrate Christmas can hardly be compared to throwing vodka down a teenager's throat. The whole thing was hardly done in the Christmas spirit.

Elizabeth Gordon, who lives in the village, said police were telling shop owners they would nick them if they gave out mulled wine.

Inspector David Brown said: Preventing misuse of alcohol is a key commitment of Fife Constabulary and requires rigorous enforcement of the by-laws banning drinking and carrying of open containers of alcohol in public places.

While our emphasis is on using the by-laws to target alcohol abuse and underage drinking in the Anstruther area, it would send out the wrong message if we were to permit drinking in public for other groups of people.

old Walking Street sign





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