Agenda item

Licensing Act 2003 policy review (Agenda Item 6)

To receive the report of the Executive Manager, Public Protection.


Councillor Gilbert was unable to attend the meeting but he had asked for his concern about the lack of consultation with the Town & Parish Councils to be raised.  The Chairman asked if other Members had the same concerns.


The Licensing Officer explained that when a Policy was first implemented, much wider consultation took place.  In the present case there had been no major changes to the decision making process.  Therefore a smaller consultation had taken place with only those directly affected being contacted. 


It was pointed out that the details of all licence applications were made available on the public website and could be easily accessed.  The Chairman noted that he received a weekly list of applications by e-mail which he found very useful.  It was agreed that in future that information should be sent out to all Members and Substitute Members of the Licensing Committee.


The Licensing Officer then presented the report and advised that no responses had been received to the public consultation that had taken place.  She noted that one area that Members might like to review was the exemption of late night refreshment licences which had come into force on 5 November 2015.  That had been too late to include it in the current review.


The change in legislation gave Local Authorities the power to remove the requirement for a licence for late night refreshment.  Currently if an establishment provided hot food and drink between the hours of 11pm and 5am it was required to have a licence.


As the power to provide the exemptions was new, it was difficult to determine what effect it would have.  Currently, all such premises had to be licensed and each of the licences could have conditions applied, which covered such issues as litter and noise.  If the requirement to have a licence was removed, there would no longer be any direct control over those issues.


Members were advised that the average cost of a late night refreshment licence was about £180 per year.


Councillor Sharpe asked what the Police had to say about the change in legislation and he was advised that there was to be a multi-agency meeting the following week at which the views of the police and other authorities would be heard.


Councillor Darby considered that there was not enough information for Members to make a decision. 


The Licensing Officer pointed out that the Council was required to publish the statement of its Licensing Policy by 7 January 2016.  To meet that deadline, the Policy review had to be approved by Council in December.  If Members wished to consider the late night refreshment licensing issue they could do so at a later date.


It was proposed and seconded that the Policy on late night refreshment should remain as it was for the time being and would be reviewed at the next meeting when more information, including consultation with adjoining Authorities, would be available.


RESOLVED to RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy, required for the Council as licensing authority to discharge its statutory duties under the Licensing Act 2003, be approved.


It was further RESOLVED that the deregulation of the licensable activity of late night refreshment would be reviewed at the meeting on 16 March 2016.

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