Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Committee - Wednesday, 21 November 2012 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Caroline Salisbury, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 19 September 2012.


The record of the meeting held on 19 September 2012 were agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct. 


Apologies for absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Adrian Gulvin. 


Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 


There were none.   


Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests

A member need only disclose at any meeting the existence of a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) in a matter to be considered at that meeting if that DPI has not been entered on the disclosable pecuniary interests register maintained by the Monitoring Officer.


A member disclosing a DPI at a meeting must thereafter notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of that interest within 28 days from the date of disclosure at the meeting.


A member may not participate in a discussion of or vote on any matter in which he or she has a DPI (both those already registered and those disclosed at the meeting) and must withdraw from the room during such discussion/vote.


Members may choose to voluntarily disclose a DPI at a meeting even if it is registered on the council’s register of disclosable pecuniary interests but there is no legal requirement to do so.


In line with the training provided to members by the Monitoring Officer members will also need to consider bias and pre-determination in certain circumstances and whether they have a conflict of interest or should otherwise leave the room for Code reasons. 


There were none. 


Police report on licensing matters pdf icon PDF 73 KB

This report presents a Medway Police update on licensing matters and offers Members the opportunity to ask the police representative questions.




The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager welcomed the Police representatives to the meeting to present their annual report on licensing matters.  She paid tribute to both Inspector Joy Dean and Sergeant Mark Carron for the excellent partnership between the Council’s and Police Licensing teams on joined up working in all matters relating to licensing on a daily basis.


Sergeant Carron circulated an additional section to add to the report and introduced the various Police operations in Medway relating to licensed premises.


The Committee was advised that during the period October 2010 to October 2012 there were eleven operations run and the results were as follows:


  • 111 licensed premises visited
  • 38 persons arrested
  • 85 drug seizures
  • 252 persons searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act
  • 5 section 27’s issued (direction to leave the area)
  • 10 persons received cannabis street cautions
  • 2 drug intervention support program (DISP) referrals made
  • 1 penalty notice for disorder issued
  • 10 warnings given to licensed premises for breach of licensing conditions
  • 1415 persons tested on the ION track machine
  • 62 intelligence reports submitted.


The following figures showed that in the rolling year to November 2012:


  • All crime has fallen by 7.7% (766 fewer offences)
  • Violent crime has increased by 8.2% (172 more offences)
  • Serious violent crime has fallen by 2.4% (8 fewer offences)
  • Criminal damage has fallen by 18% (354 fewer offences)
  • Anti-social behaviour has fallen by 11.4% (4808 fewer incidents).


Sergeant Carron also referred to the fact that a survey by Kent Police in Medway had illustrated that the perception of drunk/rowdy behaviour in Medway had decreased from 17.5% in 2010 to 11.6% as of September 2012 (381 people were surveyed).


Responding to questions, he and Inspector Joy Dean answered as follows:


  • The difference between violent crime and serious violent crime was explained.  Serious violent crime could cover murder, grievous bodily harm etc and was the higher end of the scale.  It was also stated that the reason for the increase in violent crime related to domestic violence was which increasing.  The Committee were informed that the Police were putting multi-agency plans in place in an attempt to address this.


  • The point was made that with the price of cocaine reducing this was often seen as an alternative to alcohol as a recreational drug.  Kent Police were investigating this trend.


  • In relation to the drop in perception of anti-social behaviour it was stated that this was a continual reduction.  Inspector Dean referred to the Medway Action for Families Programme, which worked with the most needy and troubled families offering intensive programmes of support.  Although the reduction in anti-social behaviour was an ongoing one it was accepted that it would not be possible to completely eradicate it.


  • Reference was made to the Cumulative Impact Policy, which allowed licensing authorities to limit the growth of licensed premises in a problem area.  Sergeant Carron explained that it was not easy to apply this particular legislation and it was better that the Police used the section 27 legislation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 573.


Gambling Act 2005 - review of Council Statement of Gambling Policy pdf icon PDF 7 MB

The report asks the committee to consider the amendments made to the current Council Statement of Gambling Policy. 




The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager introduced the report on the review of the Council’s statement of gambling policy.


She stated that the Gambling Act 2005 required that licensing authorities review their statement of principles every 3 years.  The statement of gambling policy sets out how Medway Council would administer processes required under the Act.


The decision of the Licensing and Safety Committee on 24 July 2012 was for officers to prepare and consult on a draft policy statement and report back to the Committee.


She stated that the existing policy for the period 2010 to 2013 had been updated to reflect current legislation and also the new updated guidance on the matters the Council could have regard to when considering an application and to confirm arrangements for ensuring that premises complied with their licence conditions and responsibilities.


The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager and Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer responded to Members’ questions.  Clarification was given about the different roles of the Council as the licensing authority and the Gambling Commission.  It was stated that the Council issued the premises licences and the Gambling Commission issued the operating licences and personal licences.


The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer explained that there had been an increase of Bingo and Adult Gaming Centres which split their premises into two or more gambling premises to enable them to increase the number of high payout gaming machines on offer for customers.  Due to Gambling Commission guidance on primary use of the premises it was determined the Council would provide more information within the Gambling Policy on how operators could split their premises to comply with the regulations.  Split premises generated more income on annual fees to the Council but since recent changes allowing an increase of gaming machine entitlements for Bingo and Adult Gaming Centres, those which had previous split premises had returned to just one, which had reduced the income generated from annual fees.


In relation to visits by the Gambling Commission it was stated that there was one person covering the South East area but the licensing authority had built up a good relationship with them and shared intelligence of illegal machine operators.  She stated that details had been passed to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of premises who had not displayed or been issued with an Amusement Machine Licence Duty Permit that had led to them recouping £14,000 in lost duty.


Reference was made to the changing legislation in relation to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Amusement Machine Licence Duty Permit that would mean that from April 2013 the fixed licence fee would cease and it would be based upon the gross profits of each gaming machine.  How this would work has not yet been determined and licensees were unaware of how this would affect them.  It was explained that the licensing authority would still administer the notifications of two or less gaming machines, licensed premises gaming machine permits and club machine permits.


The Chairman reminded the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 574.