Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee - Thursday 18 June 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

Councillor A Bardoe was proposed, seconded and duly elected Chairman of the meeting.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Bryan Read. Councillor Calvin McLean replaced Cllr. Read on the Sub-Committee with the prior agreement of the Chairman of the Licensing Committee.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

4.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Sub-Committee held on 22 September 2014 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Sub-Committee held on 22 September 2014 were confirmed as an accurate record of those proceedings by Councillor Arron Bardoe, as a participating Member of that Sub-Committee.

 

5.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items to be considered.

 

He also confirmed that Sub-Committee Members and all interested parties present, had received copies of the additional papers presented by Kent Police in respect of Agenda Items 7 and 8 and from ‘Licensing Matters’ acting on behalf of the Premises Licence Holder, in respect of Agenda Item 7.

6.

Rules of Procedure pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

7.

Application by North Kent Police for Review of the Premises Licence for Mini Market (LONDIS), 146-148 St Vincents' Road, Dartford DA1 1XE pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To determine an application for review of a premises licence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager summarised her report for the Review of the above Premises Licence under Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003. North Kent Police Licensing had made the application for review under the licensing objective of “the prevention of crime and disorder”; following a joint visit with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the premises on 25 March 2015 and a further visit by Kent Police on 23 April 2015. At the conclusion of both visits a combined total of 426.3 litres of non-duty paid alcohol was seized and five (5) breaches of existing Licensing Conditions recorded, relating variously to the use of CCTV, the storage of alcohol on the premises and staffing issues.

 

In light of the seizures of non-duty paid alcohol and breaches of Licensing Conditions recorded by Kent Police Licensing and HMRC at the premises on 25 March and 23 April 2015, PC Cossar on behalf of the Applicant for the Review requested that the Sub-Committee consider the revocation of the existing licence or failing that, suspension of the licence for a period of 3 months together with removal of the Designated Premises Supervisor and modification of the existing licence conditions.

 

In response, Mrs Gill Sherratt from ‘Licensing Matters’ spoke on behalf of the Premises Licence Holder, Mr S. Sangarapallai. With the Chairman’s permission; she sought to clarify with Kent Police representatives present the exact details and circumstances surrounding the joint Kent Police/HMRC visits to her client’s premises. Specifically, she sought confirmation from Kent Police of her client’s previous good standing as the Premises Licence Holder and asked why his premises had been closed following the second visit on 23 April 2015 and under what legislation closure of the premises had been undertaken.

 

PC Hill responded on behalf of Kent Police. He confirmed that no previous complaints or concerns had been recorded by the Police or other responsible authorities in respect of the Premises Licence Holder Mr Sangarapallai and the existing licence. He also confirmed that seizure of goods had been made under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. However, he was not aware that the premises had closed in April. The instruction to staff [the Premises Licence Holder being absent at that time] was that all alcohol sales must cease immediately and supplies of alcohol not seized be covered or removed from public view. PC Hill suggested that a misunderstanding may have arisen with staff over the need to close the premises, possibly due to the language barrier.

 

Mrs Sherratt asserted that clear instructions had been given by Kent Police to the staff to close the premises on 23 April and despite meeting with Kent Police further on 24 April, the Mini Market had remained closed until 30 April, at an estimated loss of some £10,000 to the family. She further asserted that the Closure Notice was invalid in that Section 19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 did not apply to ‘Off-Licences’, only to premises where alcohol was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Application by North Kent Police for the Review of Premises Licence at Drink Stop, 62 Hythe Street, Dartford DA1 1BX pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To determine an application for review of a premises licence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager summarised her report for the Review of the above Premises Licence under Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003. North Kent Police Licensing had made the application for Review under the licensing objectives of “the prevention of crime and disorder”; following a joint visit with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the premises on 25 March 2015. At the conclusion of the visit a total of 180 litres (240) bottles of Italian wine were seized. Mr K Maheswaran, the Premises Licence Holder was unable to produce evidence that duty had been paid on the items seized.

 

In addition, during the visit, Kent Police Licencing and HMRC had recorded a breach of the following Condition:

 

·         CCTV to be in operation and cameras to be situated in accordance with police recommendations.

 

In light of the seizure of non-duty paid alcohol and the breach of Licensing Conditions recorded by Kent Police Licensing and HMRC at the premises on 25 March 2015, PC Hill on behalf of the Applicant for the Review requested that the Sub-Committee consider the revocation of the existing licence, failing that that the licence be suspended for 3 months, that the Designated Premises Supervisor be removed and the existing licence conditions modified to address Kent Police concerns.

 

The Chairman confirmed with the Premises Licence Holder Mr K Maheswaran that he was representing himself, had been present in the public seating area during the previous agenda item and understood the rules of procedure that would be followed for the proceedings. He then asked Mr Maheswaran to respond to the case for Review against his Premises Licence at ‘Drink Stop’ 62 Hythe Street, Dartford, brought by Kent Police.

 

Mr K Maheswaran informed the Sub-Committee that he had bought the premises and all the stock (including the seized alcohol) in December 2014 / January 2015 from a friend. He had not himself purchased the stock; it had come with the premises. Unfortunately he had not been present on 25 March 2015 during the joint visit by Kent Police / HMRC and feared that Officers may have encountered a language problem with his mother. Had he been present he would have explained the circumstances also that the CCTV was in operation, it was only one monitor at the front of the premises that was unplugged in error. This had now been rectified but he accepted the CCTV monitor should have been checked more regularly. He maintained that he had bought the premises and stock in good faith.

 

In subsequent questioning of the Premises Licence Holder and PC Hill Kent Police, the Sub-Committee established the following facts:

 

·         The Premises Licence Holder held no stock records for the goods he had purchased from the previous owner together with the premises;

·         The Premises Licence Holder together with his mother ran the business;

·         That Mrs R Maheswaran the Designated Premises Supervisor currently holds a Personal Licence, the Premises Licence Holder has yet to undertake any formal training in the Licensing Act;

·         Mr K Maheswaran as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.