The English Association of Self Catering Operators (EASCO) have been involved in the deliberation of legislation that will determine whether holiday home owners can legally provide their guests with small quantities of alcohol. Below the association outlines how you can help secure your right to distribute alcohol, for example in your welcome packs, by participating in an online survey.
The Home Office has published a consultation on the details of the planned Community and Ancillary Sales notice that will allow small-scale low-risk sellers of alcohol to sell it lawfully.
Currently if alcohol is included in a sale, for example in the cost of a holiday home rental, it is a sale of alcohol and requires a licence. Therefore, unless you have a premises license, including a bottle of Blue Nun in your welcome basket is a criminal offense that carries a possible prison sentence. It is not a free gift – you are only giving it to people who have paid you money!
EASCO has been participating in the long-running series of Home office consultations on how to introduce a simple light-touch method of allowing small-scale sales of alcohol by B&Bs and other small accommodation providers. We have been involved in working groups at the Home Office and will be sending a formal response to the current consultation. However it is essential that as many members as possible also complete a simple online questionnaire that the Home Office have made available as part of this consultation process. One of the questions asks whether self-catering holiday homes should be included, or not.
Whilst the government will make up its own mind, numbers do count, and we need to ensure that the number of responses favouring inclusion of self-catering in the CAN system is overwhelming, and that there is a majority of respondents who favour a reasonable level of supply i.e. more than one small glass of wine per guest.
The first question is whether the system should be limited to accommodation providers with just a few bed-spaces. Suggested limits are 5, 10, 15, or 20 spaces. If this were limited to 5 spaces anyone with a six bed holiday home would need a full premises licence like a pub.
The next issue is how much alcohol should be allowed to be supplied. EASCO would like to see at least one bottle of wine between two people being allowed but conservative respondents may seek to limit it to an impracticably low level.
The third question asks if self-catering should be included. You know the answer to that.
Other questions concern community groups who are also to be allowed to use the process to sell wine in the interval of a theatre group’s show, for example.
Please respond by 9th December.