Agenda and minutes

Licensing & Regulatory Committee
Friday, 30th November, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: The Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Mr. Pat Trafford, Democratic Services. (01538) 395551 

Items
No. Item

47.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee held on 9 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee held on 9 March 2018 be APPROVED as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

48.

Urgent items of business, if any.

Minutes:

Following a recent Licensing Sub-Committee hearing where an application for licensed premises in Leek Town Centre was determined, the Chair confirmed that the Sub-Committee members experienced problems as a result of there being no ‘Cumulative Impact Area’ policy.

 

This had previously been proposed by Staffordshire Police but, when looked at in detail, it was decided that there was insufficient justification to adopt such a policy. The result was that no Police evidence was submitted to the Sub-Committee, who then had to make their decision without a Police opinion. Residents in the locality had expressed their extreme concern at the likelihood of anti-social behaviour associated with the premises in question, but without specific qualified evidence, members felt powerless to refuse the application.

49.

Declarations of interest, if any.

Minutes:

There were no declarations made.

50.

Gambling Policy Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was required, as a Licensing Authority, to prepare and publish a Statement of Principles under Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005. This was due for renewal in 2019 and would last 3 years but could be reviewed by the Council at any time.

 

The revised Statement was appended to the report. The Act also required that consultation was undertaken with a range of statutory bodies defined by the Act and included in the proposed policy. The consultation took place between 2 October 2018 and 13 November 2018, resulting in 2 responses of a general nature from  – 1 – The Gambling Commission, and 2 – Gamcare.

 

RESOLVED – That the revised Statement of Principles as attached to the report be APPROVED, including the consultation response received from the Gambling Commission and noting the comments made by Gamcare.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED – That the revised policy be recommended for full Council APPROVAL.

51.

Review of Implementation of Personnel Checks pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alicia Patterson – Operations Manager, Environmental Services (Regulatory) – introduced a presentation via the screens in the Council Chamber which aimed to simplify the Disclosure and Barring Checking process (DBS) for new and existing taxi drivers.

 

Personnel Checks were an organisation specialising in public sector DBS checking and already delivered tailored services to a number of local authorities across the UK in a high quality, accurate and professional manner.

 

The process would be operational from 1 January 2019 for SMDC for both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver applications. All drivers were to be contacted by the Authority with instructions on how to use the Personnel Checks website and how to complete the on-line checks.

 

Following queries from Committee Members, Alicia was able to confirm the following points:-

 

1.    The turnaround for applications would be quicker – approximately 10 days;

2.    The process would reduce officer time by around 1 hour per application;

3.    There were no perceived ‘downsides’ for the Authority, though some drivers may need to be guided through the process;

4.    Current application rate was between 10-15 per week;

 

RESOLVED – That the report be NOTED.

52.

Licensing Enforcement Activity pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on Licensing Service enforcement actions for the period July 2018 to October 2018. The details were as follows:-

 

Enforcement Activity

Letters/Emails to Taxi Drivers

Drivers

2 Hackney;

2 Private Hire;

1 Operator.

 

Driver Penalty Points Awarded

 

3 Drivers issued with penalty points for various matters including smoking in vehicle and for failure to notify of driving offences;

1 Operator issued with penalty points.

 

Taxi Enforcement evening inspection in Cheadle (September).

 

Multi Agency licensing evening enforcement carried out in Cheadle/Leek during August, September and October.

 

 

1 Pub Watch Meeting attended in Leek.

 

 

Compliance Checks on Licensed Premises in the District

11 Leek;

13 Biddulph;

9 Cheadle;

1 Werrington.

 

10 Notice Checks on new premises.

 

8 Follow Up letters to premises following inspection.

 

3 Minor variation applications.

 

 

Responding to a member query, Sandra Bradbury – Licensing Officer – confirmed that every effort was made for officer attendance at all Pub Watch meetings, but that it was impractical to attend them all. The Police’s approach to the meetings was similar. SMDC officer presence would be ensured at the next meeting in order to check the Temporary Event Notices which had been issued for the Christmas & New Year period.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be NOTED.

53.

Chair/Members' Questions/Issues.

Minutes:

There were no questions or issues raised.

54.

Date of Next Meeting - 1 March 2019

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for Friday 1 March 2019.