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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bardoe, R Bryant, Martin, Mrs Muckle and Read.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest Members may wish to make including the term(s) of any dispensations that have been granted to Members.

Minutes:

No disclosures of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Prejudicial Interests were made.

 

Councillor Hammock asked for the fact that he still held a personal licence to be noted for the sake of clarity.

 

 

3.

Confirmation of Minutes held on 14 September 2011 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee which took place on 14 September 2011 as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 14 September 2011 be confirmed as an accurate record.

4.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

5.

Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy Review pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider proposed amendments to the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy adopted by the Council in 2010.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered proposed amendments to the Hackney Carriage & Private Licensing Policy which had been adopted by the Council in 2010 which had arisen as a result of consultation with trade representatives, legislative changes and clarification in relation to the Equality Act. The proposed amendments were detailed in the Appendices to the report. Members noted that policy change 2 merely clarified the application of the Equalities Act 2010 in the Taxi Licensing Policy. More significantly following a change to regulations the requirement for licensed drivers to undergo Enhanced CRB checks would be re-instated, the pass mark for the two part test taken by prospective hackney carriage drivers had been set at 31 correct answers in part C of the test and the practice of giving refunds for unsuccessful applications would be ended as a result of a recent magistrate’s court ruling. It was also proposed to delete the requirement for a minimum engine size as technology had moved on since this was introduced and the manufacturers specification provided a better indication as to the suitability of the car for use as a hackney carriage. A new requirement for drivers to provide an annual calibration certificate was proposed to ensure that all taximeters displayed the correct tariff whilst the current advertising restriction on PH rear windscreens would be removed.

 

Members welcomed the proposed changes to the Policy and commended officers for working in consultation with the local trade representatives to formulate the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED: That the amendments to the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy contained in the table at Appendix 1 to the report be adopted.   

6.

Changes to the Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To advise members of changes to the Licensing Act 2003 following the enactment of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were advised of changes to the Licensing Act 2003 as a result of the enactment of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 in September 2011. Whilst many of the changes were largely administrative there had also been some practical changes to clarify some aspects of the policy and to strengthen regulation. The Committee noted that whilst sections of the Act relating to Temporary Events Notices, Responsible Authorities/Interested Parties, suspension of licences for failure to pay the annual fee and personal licences were already in effect, the remaining provisions would be introduced between October 2012 and May 2013. Once all the legislation had been enacted it would be necessary to change the Licensing Policy to reflect this.

 

The principal changes to the Act were:

 

·        The Licensing Authority and the Primary Care Trust/Local Health Board have become responsible authorities under the Licensing Act. This would allow the Council to make representations in respect of new licences and variations as well as submitting applications to review licences.

·        Any person could now make representations or apply to review an application regardless of where they live providing the representations were linked to the four Licensing Objectives.

·        The evidential burden placed on Licensing Sub-committees had also been lowered to allow them to make “appropriate” conditions rather than taking such steps as it considered “necessary”.

·        Two different categories of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) now existed; the standard TEN and a new Late TEN (which could be received no later than 5 days in advance of the event).

·        The Council’s Environmental Health Team was now a “relevant person” empowered to object to TENs in the same way as the police and the grounds for objection had been extended to apply to all four licensing objectives instead of just the prevention of crime.

·        Where an objection had been received to a TEN the Licensing Sub-committee could now apply conditions where the premises held a Premises License.

·        Where the licensee failed to pay the annual fee it would now be possible to suspend the operation of the licence

·        Subject to secondary legislation to be introduced in May 2013 it was proposed to allow Licensing Authorities to set their own fees.

·        Once the power was commenced ”, Early Morning Restriction Orders could be applied to the whole of a district or part of a district to prohibit the sale of alcohol during specific hours between midnight and 6am where alcohol was included in the premises licence or TEN .

·        Likewise the Licensing Authority would be able to introduce a late night levy on premises selling alcohol in the early hours of the morning with the intention of providing more resources for policing crime and disorder associated with the late night economy, once this power had been commenced.

·        The increase in the maximum fine for persistently selling alcohol to children had been increased from £10,000 to £20,000.

 

Members broadly welcomed the changes but challenged the meaning of “persistently” selling alcohol to children. Some Members felt that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.