Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing and Safety Committee
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Stephen Platt, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

752.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were none.

753.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 26 June 2018.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 26 June 2018 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.  

754.

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.

755.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

756.

Licensing Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report pdf icon PDF 492 KB

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

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Committee considered the Licensing Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report covering the period April 2017 to March 2018. Statistics for 2016/2017 were also included for comparison, as were statistics for the period April to September 2018 to bring the report further up to date.

 

The Licensing Manager reported that the position remained relatively unchanged over the two and a half years covered in the report. In response to questions and comments from members of the Committee, he made the following points:

 

·         The possibility of establishing the level of repeat offending would be investigated and the outcome reported to members of the Committee.

·         The low level of prosecutions was seen as a positive as it reflected the effectiveness of enforcement action which followed a stepped approach with low level interventions first, leading to prosecution only if these did not have the desired effect.

·         Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers who had been issued with penalty points under the Council’s penalty points scheme were generally only brought before the Licensing Sub-Committee if they accumulated the number of points that triggered a review of their licence. The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee had considered appeals against the issuing of points and also pointed out that the number of occasions that a driver had been issued with points was a good indication of re-offending.

·         Under the points system, points became ‘spent’ after two years.

·         In order to give some context, future reports would show the total number of licence holders in each category.

·         The Licensing Team liaised with Transport for London (TfL) on matters relating to Uber and they assisted in local intelligence-led operations. If obtainable, statistical information on the number of Uber drivers locally would be provided in future reports and TfL would be invited to a future meeting of the Committee to discuss the issue.

·         Inspections of taxi operators at their offices was difficult due to their low staffing levels. However, they were required to keep detailed records of bookings and to submit these to the Licensing Team for inspection on request.

·         The Environmental Enforcement Team would be asked if an update report on scrap metal dealer enforcement could be brought to a future meeting of the Committee.

·         The possibility of an article in Medway Matters on bogus charity collections would be investigated.

 

Decision

 

The Committee:

 

(a)      noted the Licensing Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report;

 

(b)      requested that, if obtainable, the level of repeat offending be reported to Committee members;

 

(c)       requested that future reports include the number of licence holders in each category and also any available information on Uber;

 

(d)      requested that TfL be invited to attend a future meeting of the Committee to discuss Uber related issues;

 

(e)      requested that an update report on scrap metal dealer enforcement be brought to a future meeting of the Committee; and

 

(f)       requested that consideration be given to an article on bogus charity collections being placed in Medway Matters.

757.

Membership of the Licensing and Safety Committee and its Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 144 KB

This report sets out the position regarding the allocation of seats on the Licensing and Safety Committee and its Sub-Committees following receipt of notice from a current member of the Committee that they no longer wish to be a member of a political group.

 

The Committee is requested to review the membership of two of its Sub-Committees in light of Full Council’s decision on 24 January 2019, which will be reported to the Committee.

Minutes:

Discussion

 

Members considered a report on the membership of the Committee and its Sub-Committees following Full Council’s review of the allocation of seats on the Committees of the Council on 24 January 2019. It was reported that Full Council had determined that the Licensing and Safety Committee seat allocated to the former UKIP Group be re-designated as a vacant seat to which the political groups were not entitled.

 

The Committee considered the implications of Full Council’s decision on the vacant seat on Panel A of the Licensing Hearing Panels and Licensing 1982 Act Hearing Panels.

 

Decision

 

The Committee:

 

(a)      noted that Full Council had determined that the Licensing and Safety Committee seat allocated to the former UKIP Group be re-designated as a vacant seat to which the political groups were not entitled; and

 

(b)      agreed that the vacancy on Panel A of the Licensing Hearing Panels and the Licensing 1982 Act Hearing Panel be filled by members of the Committee in turn, selected on an alphabetical basis as required, subject to availability and any Ward Councillor conflicts.