Bearsden and Bishopbriggs residents will be able to order groceries including alcohol to be delivered from Scotmid following a successful application to alter their off sales license at two stores.

The premises at Ledi Drive in Bearsden and Auchinairn Road in Bishopbriggs have both been granted permission to send grocery orders, which may include alcoholic beverages, to customers as East Dunbartonshire Licensing Board has granted their request for an update to their existing licenses.

The application received no objections from statutory consultees although East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership requested that the store not be allowed to send out orders comprised solely of alcoholic beverages, a Challenge 25 age verification policy be in full effect and also required of any third party companies delivering items on behalf of Scotmid.

The HSCP also noted that the Auchinairn area had a higher than average rate of alcohol related mental health hospital admissions.

At the licensing hearing, company representatives explained that customers would use the Snappy Shopper app to place orders and that Scotmid had worked with its developers to ensure Challenge 25 would be enforced via onscreen prompts advising the driver that the order includes age restricted items.

All deliveries would be made by employees at the stores where orders would be made, and receive training that far exceeds the two hour sessions required by legislation.

Challenge 25 will be enforced for deliveries as it would in store, with identification requested if the customer is not obviously older than 25. Alcohol will also not be supplied to customers who are intoxicated and proxy purchases will not be permitted. The type of identification shown will be recorded along with the date of birth of the customer. Orders will also be recorded as will refusals to show identification to ensure policy is being followed, and deliveries will not be made if nobody is present to receive them.

Scotmid has also commissioned a company to carry out test purchases, with measures including disciplinary action to be made to ensure compliance with policy.

Delivery staff will also be issued with panic devices and optional CCTV, and have to complete conflict resolution training.

Last orders for deliveries of alcohol would be taken by 9pm with all employees returning to store by 10pm, again exceeding legal requirements.

The company also has a commitment to using electric vehicles for deliveries whenever possible.

The representatives also said they had first trialled Snappy Shopper in 2019 and now operate 24 delivery hubs from their stores.

During the hearing Scotmid admitted that further development of the app would be required to prevent orders solely consisting of alcohol but these were rare with most also containing groceries. It is also company policy to only deliver to households.

The board unanimously granted both applications but convener Councillor Stewart MacDonald requested that Scotmid work with the Snappy Shopper developers to ensure that orders for only alcohol could be blocked, in line with the concern raised by the HSCP.