Scottish Grocers' Federation (SGF) president John Drummond has once again highlighted anomalies in the law surrounding the sale of alcohol and tobacco and the challenges some retailers might face when new licensing legislation for Scotland comes into effect on September 1, 2009.
But in a rallying call to retailers at the well-attended SGF conference at St Andrews last weekend, Drummond appealed to members not to "whinge about our lot". Instead, he urged the nation's independent retail sector to take action, expressing confidence in the Scottish Government's ability to co-operate by issuing guidelines to licensing boards.
"It seems there could be problems to face as local licensing boards tackle the new legislation in their own area," he said. "But many SGF members have shops in more than one area. We need a level of consistency, but licensing board policies may not allow that."
Drummond pointed out that already there are differing views on forecourts and if they should be permitted to have a licence to sell alcohol.
Drummond also told the conference - themed Seize the Day - that the government had acknowledged the SGF's overtures with regard to anomalies in the law. "We hope that good old common sense will prevail - but don't hold your breath."