Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Committee
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf. View directions

Contact: Stephen Platt, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

241.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Etheridge and Kemp.

242.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 27 January 2016 and the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 18 May 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The record of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 January 2016 and the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 18 May 2016 were agreed as correct and signed by the Chairman.  

243.

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. 

Minutes:

There were none.

244.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other 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.

 

Members should also ensure they disclose any other interests which may give rise to a conflict under the council’s code of conduct.

 

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. 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.  

245.

Licensing Act 2003 - Enforcement Report on Licensing Matters pdf icon PDF 686 KB

The purpose of this report is to enable both the Licensing Authority and Medway Police to present their annual report in respect of licensing compliance and enforcement to the Licensing and Safety Committee and for Members to ask questions and make comments.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered the annual reports on licensing compliance and enforcement from Kent Police and the Licensing Authority covering the period April 2015 to March 2016. The Licensing Officer, Kent Police, reported that Medway had the highest number of licensed premises within the North Division and highlighted the benefit of close working relationships between the Divisional Licensing Unit and licence holders and Designated Premises Supervisors (DPS).  Working in partnership with the local authority, premises were visited whenever there was a change of DPS to provide a point of contact and discuss the licensing conditions to ensure that they were fit for purpose for the venue and were understood by the DPS.  Enforcement action was seen as a last resort but would be taken when compliance visits had not achieved the desired outcome.

 

In relation to crimes generated from pubs and clubs, it was reported that there was a correlation between the number of victims of crime and offenders aged over 30. This was considered to be linked to the increased use of cocaine in this particular age group.  Reported incidences of spiked drinks and grievous bodily harm had not been high in Medway during the year.

 

The success of operation REPEL was reported to the Committee. This had been instigated to focus on gang members believed to be involved in drug dealing at premises within Medway.  Working with the premises management and door staff, Kent Police had provided a knife arch to assist with the searching policies at the premises. The operation had resulted in arrests for assault and possession of drugs and had sent a positive message that this type of offending would not be tolerated.

 

In conclusion the Licensing Officer, Kent Police, advised the Committee that there had been an increase in the number of Temporary Event Notices and also applications for new premises licences and the Unit had been successful in requesting that additional conditions be attached to licences where appropriate. 

 

Members thanked the Licensing Officer, Kent Police for her comprehensive report. They commented on issues such as high strength alcoholic drinks and so called ‘pre-loading’ where customers consumed alcohol at home before going to a pub or club. The Licensing Officer, Kent Police advised the Committee that door staff were aware of this practice and would not admit customers to their premises if they were drunk. Preventative measures were also discussed and Members were advised that the use of plastic bottles instead of glass was restricted by the higher cost and shorter shelf life of products in plastic bottles. The use of Scan Net, an ID verification and entry scanning system, was also discussed.

 

It was noted that this would be the last meeting attended by the Licensing Officer, Kent Police and on behalf of the Committee, the Chairman thanked her for her achievements in Medway and wished her well in her new role.

 

Next, the Council’s Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager introduced her report for April 2015 to March 2016 which covered the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 245.

246.

Delegation to the Licensing Sub-Committee - Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 pdf icon PDF 210 KB

The Council has approved a revision to the Council’s Constitution at to clarify that the licensing of scrap metal dealers under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is an executive function which must be the responsibility of the Leader and Cabinet. The Chief Legal Officer has been given delegated authority to determine scrap metal licence applications and associated matters. This Committee and the Licensing Sub Committee has an advisory role in the determination of scrap metal licence applications, where representations have been received because it is proposed to refuse, vary or revoke a licence.  The Committee’s terms of reference have been amended accordingly. The Committee is asked to agree that this advisory role should be undertaken by the Licensing Sub Committee which would meet to hear representations as appropriate and then recommend a course of action to the Chief Legal Officer.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered a report seeking agreement to a proposal that the Licensing Sub-Committee undertake an advisory role in respect of applications received under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. With the agreement of the Leader and Cabinet, the Council had given the Licensing Committee and the Licensing Sub-Committee this quasi-judicial advisory role and the Committee was asked to delegate this function to the Sub-Committee.

 

It was noted that the Leader had given delegated authority to the Chief Legal Officer to determine such applications and associated matters.  Where there was an intention to refuse an application, the applicant was given a time line of no less than 14 days from the date of notice to confirm in writing their intention to make representations. A further reasonable time line was then given for the representations to be submitted. It was proposed that, if representations were received, a meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee be convened in order for Members to hear representations from all sides and advise the Chief Legal Officer of their recommended course of action, to refuse, revoke, vary, grant a licence.

 

The Committee was advised that, until such time as the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 were amended, the function of licensing scrap metal dealers had to be the responsibility of the Leader and Cabinet.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee:

 

a)       Delegated to the Licensing Sub-Committee its function of acting in an advisory quasi-judicial capacity to the Chief Legal Officer, when considering representations from applicants for licences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 where the authority is minded to refuse, vary or revoke a licence.

 

b)       Agreed to add the following paragraph to the terms of reference of the Licensing Sub-Committee:

 

“To act in an advisory quasi-judicial capacity to the Chief Legal Officer, when considering representations from applicants for licences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 where the authority is minded to refuse, vary or revoke a licence.”

 

c)    Recommended that the Monitoring Officer, who has delegated authority to make minor changes to the Constitution, amend the terms of reference of the Licensing Sub-Committee accordingly.

247.

Delegations to the Chief Legal Officer - Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

The purpose of this report is to seek the Committee’s agreement to the delegation of specific functions  to the Chief Legal Officer concerning the procedure for hearings held under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered a report seeking the Committee’s agreement to the delegation of specific functions to the Chief Legal Officer concerning the procedure for Licensing Act 2003 hearings held under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005.

 

It was noted that the regulations set out the procedure to be followed for hearings held under the Act and the proposed delegations to the Chief Legal Officer included the right to dispense with a hearing if all parties agree; the power to extend time limits and adjourn/re-arrange hearings; the submission of supporting information; and irregularities which may arise.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee:

 

a)       Delegated to the Chief Legal Officer its functions in relation to the procedure for hearings held under the Licensing Act 2003, as set out in Appendix 1 to the agenda report.

 

b)       Recommended that the Monitoring Officer, who has delegated authority to make minor changes to the Constitution, amend the Employee Scheme of Delegation accordingly.