Agenda item

Licensing Policy (Agenda item 6)

To receive the report of the Director, Community Services.


Due to staff sickness, the Assistant Director of Communications & Communities and the Licensing Support Officer were in attendance to present the report and answer questions.


Members were asked to consider the responses received following a consultation exercise on the draft revised Licensing Policy and consider and refer the final approved Statement of Licensing Policy to Full Council for adoption.


Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 required Breckland Council, as a Licensing Authority, to prepare and publish a Statement of its Licensing Policy every three years. 


In order to comply with the legislative requirements, the current Statement of Licensing Policy must be reviewed, revised and published by 7 January 2011 in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 (Licensing Statement period) Order 2004.


A review of the current Statement of Licensing Policy (which had not been amended since January 2005) had been completed by the Principal Licensing Officer. 


Due to time constraints, the Policy had only been under consultation for 11 weeks from 5 July until 20 September 2010; the HM Government Code of Practice on such consultation suggests that a minimum of 12 weeks consultation should be allowed.  In order to ensure that the process was effective as possible, a wide consultation process had been carried out.  A list of consultees had been attached at Appendix C of the report.  Thus far, the authority had received only three responses which the Committee was obliged to consider (see Appendix D of the report).


The first response had been received from Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service.  Its concerns related to underage drinking and minimum pricing of alcohol. The second response from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) had stressed the importance of partnership working with regard to underage drinking and anti social behaviour.


Members were informed that with regard to minimum pricing of alcohol, the Policy would be revised as and when the new legislation came through and as the Council saw fit.  As far as partnership working was concerned, Breckland Council had a Joint Community Safety Team which could work with ACS on such issues. 


The final response had been received from Yaxham Parish Council who had thanked the Council for being given the opportunity to study the document but had no comments to make.


The Chairman drew Members’ attention to page 76 of the report which listed the huge amount of establishments that had been consulted.  This had amounted to a great deal of work for the Principal Licensing Officer and her Team for which they were thanked.  He felt that the Policy, although very long due to legislative requirements, was much easier for people to read and follow as it had been set out in a step by step format.


A Member was surprised that there had not been many responses.  The Chairman felt that this was possibly due to the Council’s licensing process being much less complicated than the previous method of going through the Magistrates Court. 


In response to a question as to where on the table of delegations (listed on page 28 of the report) referred to temporary event notices, the Licensing Support Officer explained that such matters came under the determination of a police representation at the bottom of the table.


The Chairman asked Members to support the recommendation at 2.1 of the report.


RECOMMEND to Council that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy be adopted.


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