Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR
Contact: Daniel Kalley, Democratic Services Officer
To approve the record of the meeting held on 23 July 2013.
The record of the meeting held on 23 July 2013 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Colman, Kemp and Shaw.
Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances
The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.
The Chairman introduced Christine Wilson the new Head of Legal Services and welcomed Elizabeth Benjamin, Senior Lawyer – Litigation to the committee.
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.
The purpose of this report is to present the Medway Police compliance and enforcement report on licensing matters to the Licensing and Safety Committee and for members to ask the police representative questions and make comments.
The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager welcomed DC Gill Angus to the meeting to present the police’s annual licensing enforcement report to the committee. She outlined a number of areas including:
· There had been a re-structure within Kent Police in November 2012, as a result Divisional Licensing Units (DLU) were formed. The North Division Unit was responsible for 1908 licensed premises across Dartford, Gravesend, Medway and Swale and much of the work around licensed premises was of a reactive nature.
· The Unit also worked proactively and there had been occasions when licensing officers had witnessed incidents at certain premises, which were dealt with by the licensing officer in attendance.
· Much of the work carried out by the North DLU fell under compliance, officers were able to provide support and effectively promote the licensing objectives. However there were occasions when enforcement was necessary, this was seen as a last resort.
· Medway had a high turnover of licence holders (72) in the last financial year and 111 changes in Designated Premises Supervisors. The North DLU ensured that they visited any premises where such change had occurred, which enabled the North DLU to discuss the expectations of the licence holder and of the Designated Premises Supervisor.
· Every two weeks, in partnership with the local authority, premises where changes had occurred were visited to show licence holders and designated premises supervisors that the North DLU worked closely with the local authority to promote the licensing objectives.
· Visits to all licensed premises were prioritised based on a continued intelligence based assessment and Police officers inform the North DLU of any problem premises and these would be prioritised for visits.
· Multi-agency working had shown benefits and helped ensure that licensed premises in Medway were properly managed. As a consequence the number of people wanting to gain a licensing qualification had increased.
· There had been 373 temporary event notices (TENs) issued in Medway during the past year. This was considered high in comparison with 202 in Dartford, 196 in Gravesend and 338 in Swale.
· The North DLU also reviewed a number of other applications relating to minor variations, changes of Designated Premises Supervisors or transfers of premise licences.
· The North DLU reviewed every call to the Police call taking system (Storm) relating to licensed premises on a daily basis. An email report was then prepared outlining incidents that had occurred and a copy of this email was sent to the local authority.
· Some licensed premises also provide information to the North DLU to assist the Police in collating information on any incidents that had occurred.
· The North DLU worked closely with partner agencies in Medway and participated in a number of partnership groups.
· The North DLU had also participated in a number of joint operations organised by the local authority and Kent Trading Standards. The North DLU were made aware, in particular, of all UK Border Agency (UKBA) visits and the removal of those individuals who had been working illegally.
· The North DLU participated in ... view the full minutes text for item 363.
To inform Members of the new legislative requirements of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, including necessary changes to Committee Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegations and to endorse the fee setting process to full Council
The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager informed the committee that a supplementary agenda had been circulated with revised recommendations, along with an additional appendix highlighting the changes to the council’s constitution in line with the powers of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer introduced the report on the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which was due to come into force on 1 October 2013. The new Act would give local authorities increased powers, including the power to refuse to grant a licence and powers to revoke licences if the dealer was considered unsuitable.
The Act introduced two types of licence either a site licence or a collector’s licence. A person could only hold one licence in a local authority’s area but could hold a licence in more than one local authority.
Any dealers that had been registered before 1 October 2013 would be deemed to have a licence under the Act from 1 October 2013 and provided that the dealer submitted an application on or before 15 October their deemed licence would last until the council either issued a licence or gave notice of the decision to refuse the licence. Any dealer who failed to submit an application on or before 15 October 2013 would see their deemed licence lapse on 16 October 2013. Any new scrap metal dealer would be able to apply for a licence but would have to wait until a licence was granted before being able to trade.
Members were advised that local authorities would complete suitability checks before granting a licence. The Local Government Association had recommended that decisions on whether to grant or refuse a licence to those previously registered was to be made by 1 December 2013.
The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer explained that fees would be set locally by each local authority, but that this should be on a cost recovery basis and not a profit making exercise.
The committee welcomed the report and the Senior Licensing and Enforcement responded to a number of questions. The committee were informed that no licences had yet been granted, as currently all scrap metal dealers only had to register themselves with the local authority. In total there were approximately 45 scrap metal dealers who were registered.
The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer confirmed that the only agency who could object to the granting of a licence was the Police and it was being proposed that the dealer could appeal the decision via the Licensing Sub-Committee.
Members asked if it was possible for the new licence to identify the vehicle that itinerant dealers used but the committee was informed that it would be the dealers themselves who would be granted a licence and not the vehicle. However, all dealers were to be given an ID card and the Police had the power to stop and ask to see their ID.
Members were advised that there was currently no resource within the licensing team to visit all dealers. ... view the full minutes text for item 364.