Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Breckland Conference Centre, Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870


No. Item

Chairman's Opening Remarks

The Chairman, Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen welcomed everyone to the meeting including the 9 newly elected Members.  She was confident that they would enjoy their time on this Committee and make a positive contribution and be fully engaged.


Members were informed that Licensing played a key part in the local and night-time economy in protecting Breckland’s local communities.


Following introductions, the meeting commenced.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2023.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2023 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors O’Callaghan, Duffield and Sherwood.  An apology had also been received from Josie Hoven, the Senior Licensing Officer.


Councillor Monument apologised for her later arrival as her calendar had showed that this meeting had been cancelled.


The Chairman said that it was the Committee of the Licensing Authority meeting that had been cancelled.


Urgent Business

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.




Declaration of Interests

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.



None declared.


Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.


Councillor Helen Crane, the Executive Member for Waste, Environmental Health, Licensing & Sustainability was in attendance.


Team Introductions & Functions Presentation pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Presentation provided by Keith Mumford, Food, Health & Safety Officer.


The Chairman announced that Breckland Council had a very knowledgeable and experienced Team of Officers and Elected Members who closely worked together as ‘One Team’.


Keith Mumford, the Team Leader for Food Safety & Licensing, then presented this item, a presentation was also provided (see attached).


The Team Leader for Food Safety & Licensing said his job was to look after the wider Team and felt that Members would find it interesting to discover how the Team slotted into the overall picture of the Council.


Members were provided with a brief but detailed overview of the Food, Safety & Licensing Team including the Directorate and what each service area covered.


The Chairman thanked the Team Leader for his very informative presentation.


Councillor Crane, the Executive Member for Waste, Environmental Health, Licensing & Sustainability asked if the names of the Officers could be added to the roles for reference.  Members were informed that these could be included but would be added to the Members’ page only due to GDPR.












Licensing Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Verbal update provided by Josie Hoven, Senior Licensing Officer.


Craig Fowler, the Environmental Health & Licensing Manager presented this item and provided Members with an update.


He hoped that Members would get to play an active role in setting and reviewing Licensing Policies and procedures for taxi licensing, alcohol, entertainment, gambling premises, street trading and much more.


As mentioned earlier in the meeting, some training had been organised for all new and existing Members of the Committee and once trained, Members would have the opportunity to sit on the Licensing Panel and Licensing Hearing Panel meetings. The functions and differences between this Committee, the Committee of the Licensing Authority and the Panel meetings were explained.


He also hoped that Members would become their eyes and ears on the ground and report any licensing related concerns in their Wards to the Licensing Officers and work together.


Details of the Breckland Safety Advisory Group (SAG) were provided.  The Breckland SAG was chaired by the Council’s Licensing Team and consisted of core Officers from Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire & Rescue, East of England Ambulance NHS Trust, Norfolk County Council Highway Authority, Breckland Council Emergency Planning, and Environmental Health.


Information sheets on what the Licensing Team covered were circulated to Members for information (see attached).  Further information could be found on the Council’s website:


The work currently being undertaken by the Licensing Team was highlighted such as the many forthcoming summer and winter events that were planned for the district, new premises applications, targeted visits to various premises, Panel Hearings for taxi licensing, Officers had been keeping themselves up to date with completing on-line Continuous, Professional Development (CPD) courses. 


The Chairman thanked the Environmental Health & Licensing Manager for the update.  She also mentioned the very important Licensing training, which was taking place on Wednesday, 21 June at 2pm in the Woodpecker Room, and facilitated by Sarah Wolstenholme-Smy, the Legal Services Manager and Josie Hoven, the Senior Licensing Officer.  All Members should have received an invitation, but a reminder would also be sent in due course.  This training would cover many essential issues, and there was an expectation that if Members wanted to sit on the Licensing Panel or the Licensing Hearing Panel this training was essential, as it would assist all participants to be confident in the decisions being taken, that they were correct, robust and stood up well to external scrutiny.


The Legal Services Manager hoped that Members would find the training interesting.









Taxi Fees & Charges

Verbal update provided by Craig Fowler, Environmental Health & Licensing Manager and Josie Hoven, Senior Licensing Officer.


The Chairman advised that at the previous Licensing Committee meeting held on 15 March 2023, it had been resolved that the increase in fees be deferred until this meeting and Officers had been asked to provide additional information.


The Environmental Health & Licensing Manager then provided Members with an update.


Previous Committee Members were reminded that as part of the Council’s budget setting process earlier in the year, all fees and charges across the organisation were looked at and an inflationary increase of 6.5% had been recommended to be applied based on advice received from the Treasury. This increase included Licensing fees.


A consultation exercise took place with the taxi licensing trade – 14 responses were received, and all had raised concern about the proposed fee increase due to the fact that the fees had already been increased quite significantly in April 2022. It was noted that this further increase would have been applied in April 2023. 


At the Licensing Committee meeting earlier in the year on 15 March, it had been resolved that the increase to the fees be deferred until this meeting to enable Officers to provide further information.


Members were informed that legal advice had since been obtained in regard to the proposal and the advice that had been received concluded that whilst a thorough fee setting process had been undertaken a more up to date methodology should be used to ensure that any proposed increase stood up legal challenge, and/or any external scrutiny.


The work involved in reviewing these fees based on this new methodology would be quite detailed and would take some time and would include a need for some refresher training.  It was therefore being recommended that the Committee allowed Officers sufficient time to complete the necessary work and to ensure that any fee increase was inline with the legal advice received, and that therefore no fee increase be implemented in this financial year for hackney carriage and private hire licensing.


Additionally, the Environmental Health & Licensing Manager proposed that Officers return to the Licensing Committee meeting later on in the year once the work had been completed and update Members accordingly.


The Chairman thanked the Environmental Health & Licensing Manager for the update.


She understood that the legal advice received had been from a leading Licensing Lawyer and felt that it would be very prudent to follow this advice.  There had been some concerns raised by the trade in terms of the increase in costs and if Members followed the Officer’s recommendation, this would mean that there would not be any increase in fees within this financial year.


The Chairman advised that she and the Executive Member, Councillor Helen Crane, would be working very closely with Officers on this matter to produce a timeline and a clear plan of action and suggested that the legal advice and the Officer’s recommendation be followed, as this would stand this Committee in good stead for the future.  Ensuring that we, as Members, receive the required assurances with the fee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/23


Any other Business




The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and then closed the meeting.