A blanket extension of opening hours for Edinburgh’s pubs will not be introduced for the coronation of King Charles III this summer, the council has confirmed.
The decision means licensed premises will have to apply individually if they want to stay open later during the coronation bank holiday weekend from May 6 to May 8.
Edinburgh licensing board convener Councillor Louise Young said the council would be “very open” to receiving applications which would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Board members had it within their power to agree a general extension of drinking hours but unanimously decided against it at a meeting held on Monday, March 27.
Councillor Young said there had been no formal extension requests made so far but the local authority had received “some enquiries” on the subject.
She said: “The board previously received some enquiries about events such as Jubilee events and royal weddings, the board has not voted for a general extension but would remain open to licence holders to make individual applications on a case-by-case basis.”
Councillor Norrie Work said: “I have no idea what time the coronation is kicking off but I think we should just continue with the policy – and if somebody really really wants to they should apply like they normally do.”
He added people could “take advantage” of bars being open later than usual “rather than people who genuinely want to commemorate the coronation”.
Councilllor David Key said it had been reported the coronation ceremony itself, which takes place on Saturday, May 6, would be finished by or before 2.30pm, adding there was “not much point” in granting a blanket extension.
Deciding whether to increase opening hours for licensed premises on a case-by-case basis would be the “fairest way” to do things, Councillor Pauline Flannery told the board.
“We do live in a very pluralistic society,” she said, “we have to be very sensitive to all viewpoints I think.”
In East Lothian however, the council’s licensing board agreed a general extension which will apply from Friday, May 5 until Sunday, May 7, allowing people able to drink in bars until 1am.