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Many liquor bottle stores risk failing to renew licences

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Many bottle stores around the country may fail to have their operating licences renewed next year as the Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) is reviewing the process to weed out those flagged for various infractions over the years.

In a notice issued this week, the LLB said renewal of liquor licences is not going to be automatic as it seeks to bring sanity in the distribution, trends and patterns in the industry.

“The secretariat wishes to inform you that all bottle liquor shops will not enjoy an automatic renewal,” read part of the notice.

“The acceptance of the bottle liquor licence renewal shall be subject to the arbitrate by the LLB countrywide and will advise accordingly.

Reasons for the non-automatic renewal of licences include proximity of some shops to bus termini, those in the Central Business District (CBD) as determined by the board, those situated at fuel service stations, nuisance creation and sub-standard structures.

Some of the shops will fail to get licences renewed due to appalling hygiene standards, location to heritage sites and those that have been issued three or more fine tickets paid at police stations for various offences within one calendar month.

Also affected will be shops that have attracted public complaints, pose threats of any hibernation and that have illegal alteration of structures.

The LLB said the exercise will also affect those shop owners who are processing or have already completed the renewal process.

Many liquor bottle stores around the country have literally turned into full bars and night clubs with patrons drinking from within the premises leading to fouling of the surrounding environment, including open defecation, while creating unfair competition for regular bars.

Lack of ablution facilities at many service centres has become common place leading to fouling of service lanes and other open spaces at a time the country is in the throes of a cholera outbreak.

New Ziana

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