Agenda item

Licensing Committee - A Basic Introduction

Verbal presentation of the Licensing and Business Support Manager.


The Licensing and Business Support Manager provided Members with an introduction to the Licensing Committee at Breckland Council.


The Licensing Committee usually met four times a year to discuss Licensing Policy and the Gambling Policy but additional meetings would be held if required.


Issues concerning Taxi driving licences or vehicle licences were discussed at the Appeals Committee and Street Trading issues were discussed at the General Purposes Committee.


The Licensing Team dealt with a variety of activities including Taxi licences (for the Operator, driver and vehicle); Gambling Licences (Slot Machines, bingo); Animal Welfare (Pet shops, breeders, Zoos, riding establishments); Registration of Scrap Metal; Table and Chair licences and also Sex shops.


Some Members may be required to attend a Licensing Hearing which was a mechanism for reviewing a licence by either amending or revoking the licence.  A Legal representative as well as Officers would be in attendance at the Hearings to guide Members if required.


The Licensing Team worked closely with key responsible authorities such as the Environmental Services Team, the Police and Trading Standards.


Full training had been scheduled for all Members of the Licensing Committee on the 9 June and 23 July, both of which would be held at Kings Lynn.


The Chairman encouraged Members to attend an Appeals Committee or a Licensing Sub Committee Hearing.


The Chairman asked that each of the responsible authorities be invited to attend a Licensing Committee meeting over the coming year to provide a short presentation of how they linked with the Licensing Team.


The Chairman suggested that Members may be asked questions about licences within their Ward. He went on to say that the Committee had limited powers and therefore if any Member was unclear of the licence permitted, to query it with the Licensing Team directly.


The Licensing and Business Support Manager informed Members that work on the horizon included the Licensing Policy Review and that this would be a key piece of work over the coming year.  Work on Safeguarding would continue with a Driver Code of Conduct being introduced and Safeguarding training would be provided.


The Chairman urged Members to put forward their point of view when helping to shape the new Licensing and Gambling Policies for the Council over the coming four to five years. 


The Chairman also reminded Members to familiarise themselves with the Council’s website where details of all licences were available.


The Licensing Officer advised that enforcement of a licence was carried out by the Licencing Team through mediation and would only reach the Committee if it was at the final stage.


The Licensing and Business Support Manager said that Members would be welcome to accompany the Police and the Licensing Team on evening visits to understand more about their role.


The Licensing Team attended the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) for the District.  Various responsible authorities attended those meetings, and part of their remit ensured that if a large event was taking place within a town, the SAG would be consulted to  ensure that all events held followed the licensing requirements.


The Chairman closed the meeting by urging Members to attend visits with the Team if possible.  He also encouraged Members to raise any query with the Licensing Team if they had any doubts about Licensing issues.