Norwich City Council has written to all hairdressing businesses in the city ordering them to get a licence if they want to serve alcoholic drinks, which is customary over the festive period. The letter states that the practice of serving complimentary alcoholic drinks is a breach of the law and requires various licences. It further 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 gaol, a maximum fine of £20 000 or both."
Pardon me? Six months in chokey just for offering a customer a glass of wine?
A spokesbot guffed:
"We know that with the credit crunch all businesses need to do everything they can to encourage customers through their doors and will be offering various incentives in order to achieve that.
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."
One word: Scrooge.