Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee – 11 July 2016
Chairman: To be appointed
Venue: The Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe
Time: 10 am
1. Appointment of Chairman.
2. Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, personal or personal and prejudicial interests, and significant contact with applicants, objectors or third parties (lobbying), if any.
3. Any other items that the chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances that must be specified.
The public are likely to be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
4. Licensing Act 2003 –Application for the review of a premises licence – Storm, 213-215 High Street, Scunthorpe
5. Any other items which the chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT: – Councillors Oldfield, K Vickers and P Vickers
The sub-committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1341 CHAIRMAN – Resolved – That Councillor Vickers be and he is hereby appointed chairman for the meeting.
Councillor Vickers thereupon took the chair.
1342 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS, OBJECTORS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) – Councillor Oldfield declared a personal interest as a licence holder.
No lobbying was declared.
1343 EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following items on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
1344 (5) LICENSING ACT 2003 – APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF A PREMISES LICENCE, STORM, 213-215 HIGH STREET, SCUNTHORPE – The Director of Places submitted a report advising members of an application for the review of a premises licence at Storm, 213-215 High Street, Scunthorpe.
Details of the application were outlined in the report, together with the application for the review of a premises licence, a representation received from Humberside Police, the existing premises licence and a location map. In addition, the Applicant for the Review submitted additional documentation with the return of their counter notice.
The Director in his report reminded the sub-committee that the options available to it under the Licensing Act 2003 when considering such applications were:
- To modify the conditions of the licence.
- To exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence.
- To suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months.
- To revoke the licence.
The Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee received a request from the applicant for the review to vary the procedure for the hearing.
Mr Bramhill informed the meeting that in accordance with section 14 of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005, the Licensing Authority was respectfully requesting that the Licence Holder and his representatives be excluded from part of the hearing.
Mr Bramhill added that Section 14(2) allowed for the Licensing Authority to exclude the public from all or part of a hearing where it considered that in the public interest in doing so outweighed the public interest in the hearing, or that part of the hearing, taking place in public. Further, under section 14(3) this could include any party and anybody representing the said party.
The Licensing Manager concluded by stating that the nature of part of the evidence to be provided required, in his opinion, the exclusion of all press, public, the licence holder and their representation and all other responsible authorities other than Humberside Police from the hearing.
Mr Bramhill also requested that the sub-committee agreed to extend the time limit for the presentation of case to 40 minutes.
The Chairman invited the Premises Licence Holder’s legal representative to comment on the Licensing Authority’s request.
Mr Pascoe agreed that an extension to 40 minutes for each side to present their case was required.
The Premises Licence Holder’s legal representative referred to the revised guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, with particular reference to paragraph 11.15. The paragraph stated –
“It is particularly important that the premises licence holder is made fully aware of any representations made in respect of the premises, any evidence supporting the representations and that the holder or the holder’s legal representative has therefore been able to prepare a response”.
In effect, the premises licence holder could not be represented if his legal representative was not aware of evidence to be submitted, nor was he afforded the opportunity to respond and offer a contrary point of view.
Mr Pascoe added that as the Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee was a quasi-judicial body, removing the premises licence holder and his legal representative from part of the hearing would not allow his client to receive a fair hearing.
The Chairman invited the council’s legal representative to comment on the request to vary the procedure.
The council’s legal representative informed the meeting that variation of the procedure was at the sub-committees discretion and any decision should be based upon whether or not the variation would further assist the sub-committee in reaching a decision.
At this point, the sub-committee adjourned to consider the request to vary the procedure by the Licensing Authority.
The sub-committee reconvened, at which point the Chairman enquired as to the nature of the evidence to be submitted by Humberside Police, and whether they wished for the same provisions referred to by the Licensing Authority to apply for the submission of their evidence.
Police Constable Davie responded by stating that part of Humberside Police’s submission was for the sub-committee to view CCTV footage from two different sources. Humberside Police respectfully asked that only the licence holder and his legal representative be able to view footage GAD/1, and not the other individuals in attendance to support the licence holder. This was as a result of the footage being subject to an ongoing Police investigation.
Mr Pascoe, premises licence holder legal representative informed the meeting that his client was not in receipt of the evidence Humberside Police intended to rely on. Therefore, not being in receipt of the evidence Humberside Police intended to rely on put the premises licence holder at a disadvantage.
At this point, the sub-committee again adjourned to consider the request to vary the procedure by Humberside Police, where it was –
Resolved – That after a brief adjournment and after having heard from the Licensing Authority, Police, License Holder and his representative, the sub-committee have decided that the public interest in hearing the information from the Licensing Authority outweighed the public interest in all of the hearing taking place in public. Accordingly the public, the Premises Licence Holder, his Legal representative and police, were excluded from part of the hearing.
Mr Pascoe, premises licence holder legal representative requested a short adjournment to allow him to take instruction as to how his client wished to proceed, following the ruling of the sub-committee.
Following a short adjournment, Mr Pascoe returned to the meeting, to inform the sub-committee that his client wished for the hearing to proceed.
The applicant for the review and the Premises Licence Holders legal representative addressed the sub-committee and responded to questions.
Following the summary of the case, the meeting was adjourned for deliberation by members and then reconvened when the decision of the sub-committee was stated as follows: –
Resolved – After careful consideration of the information presented at the hearing, the information in the agenda bundle and subsequent information returned with the Applicant for the Review’s Counter Notice, and after taking into account the statutory guidance issued under s182 of the Licensing Act 2003 referred to at paragraphs 11 and 13.46 – 13.53, the Sub-Committee determined that it was appropriate and proportionate for the promotion of the crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm licensing objective to revoke the premises licence for Storm. Other measures would not, in their opinion, be sufficient to promote the crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm licensing objective. The Sub-Committee consider the recent violent activities involving staff from the premises, continued failure to adhere to the Licensing conditions attached to the premises licence and allowing children on premises to be a highly serious concern.
The Sub-Committee was disappointed that the Premises Licence Holder did not make any representation at agenda item 8 of the procedure nor did they wish to answer any questions from members in relation to the application for review. Although the licence holder did provide a brief response to the application for the review, the sub-committee was not afforded any opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification as to the information submitted by the applicant for the review or Humberside Police. As a result of this the sub-committee, after hearing the information put before it today, has little confidence that the Premises Licence Holder would be able to rectify the breaches of conditions or prevent such activities from happening in the future.
The Sub-Committee also feel it incumbent on them to record in this Notice of public (including the Premises Licence Holder) was excluded from the hearing. Whilst clearly the sub-committee are unable to reveal the information provided to them, they are able to confirm that the information was not accorded substantial weight when they were reaching their determination, but rather reinforced their view of the issues considered in the public part of the hearing.