Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2013.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies (Agenda item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Paul Darby, Thomas Monument and Karen Pettitt.
Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)
To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.
Lynda Turner and Michael Wassell.
Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.
The Licensing Committee were asked to consider the Home Office consultation so that an agreed response could be returned to the Home Office before 10 April 2014.
The Government was committed to cutting red tape within the licensing regime for responsible businesses. It had recently reduced regulation on live music and had also brought forward additional proposals for further deregulation of entertainment, and removing burdens on late night refreshment providers as well as reducing the burden of the personal licence holder.
As part of the Government’s proposals to rebalance the Act, it had recognised that some Licensing Authorities faced significant deficits in carrying out the licensing function as the fee levels had remained unchanged since the implementation of the Act in 2005. The current fee regulations prescribed different fee amounts for grants, variations, and annual fees, which had been set in bands depending on the non domestic rateable value of a premises.
The Government introduced provisions in the Police & Social Responsibility Act 2011 to enable locally set fees based on cost recovery. The Government decided not to continue to set fees centrally as it recognised that costs could vary and could result in fee payers paying too much in certain areas.
The proposed locally set fees could not be used to raise extra revenue, or tackle crime but should be based on recovering the costs that an authority incurred carrying out the licensing function. It was important to make it clear to the fee payers that locally set fees were set transparently and were based on a cost recovery basis.
The Government’s intention was not to impose excessive duties or complex processes that would increase the costs of the licensing system; therefore, views were being sought on how to create a proportionate system of fees. Additionally, caps on the levels of each fee were being introduced.
The consultation on fees ran from 13 February 2014 to 10th April 2014 and a copy of the document had been attached at Appendix A of the agenda.
It was noted that the Government was looking for responses from all Councils across the country by 10 April 2014 and with this in mind, Tiffany Bentley (Licensing Officer) had attended a seminar in London and a copy of the proposed responses had been attached at Appendix B on page 56 of the agenda.
The Chairman asked if Members had any comments to make on the Home Office document. Cllr Rogers asked if Breckland Council had been charging enough to cover its costs. The Licensing Manager advised that it was.
Referring to section 1.5 of the agenda, the Chairman asked if the Council could in fact set a fee that covered the costs of those people who applied for a licence but were refused. Members were informed that the fee had to be reimbursed to the applicant if the licence was refused.
Cllr Lamb reminded Members that the Government was trying to simplify the whole system but felt that this was a retrograde step ... view the full minutes text for item 27.