Licensing Committee – 21 November 2019
Chairman: Councillor K Vickers
Venue: Church Square House, 30 / 40 High Street, Scunthorpe, DN15 6NL
E-mail Address – email@example.com
Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests, and significant contact with applicants, objectors or third parties (lobbying), if any.
To take the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 12 September 2019 as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign.
Sub-Committee Proceedings – To receive and where necessary confirm the minutes of the meeting of the following sub-committees (i) Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 5 September and 3 October.
The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.
A Guide to the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee.
Appeals Submitted to the Magistrates Court.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT: – Councillor K Vickers in the chair.
Councillors P Vickers (Vice-Chairman) Ali, Allcock, Clark, A Davison, Ellerby, Hannigan, Mitchell, Rayner, Rowson, C Sherwood, Swift, Wells and Wilson.
The committee met at Church Square House, Scunthorpe.
1663 MINUTES SILENCE – As a mark of respect, the committee observed a minutes silence for the passing of Councillor John Collinson.
1664 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS, OBJECTORS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) – The following members declared personal interests –
Member – Councillor Ali
Nature of Interest – Personal Licence Holder and Private Hire Operators Licence Holder
1665 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this committee held on 12 September 2019 having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
1666 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 5 September and 3 October 2019 be received.
1667 LICENSING FEES – The Director: Operations submitted a report that proposed to review the licensing fees in light of the current legislation and case law, and approve the revised fee structure.
Following the court ruling in favour of Hemming (t/a Simply Pleasure Ltd) and others v Westminster City Council, Councils and other licence fee charging bodies across the UK were allowed to recoup regulatory and enforcement costs instead of just the administration costs of granting a licence.
The court determined that the distinction between two types of licensing scheme, known as type A and type B. The details were at paragraph 2.3 of the report.
The fees for licensable activities could be set in a number of ways. They could be determined by Parliament, thus a statutory fee, be a maximum fee or the fee could be set at the discretion of the Council. In some cases, no fee could be charged, for example, charitable collections.
Where the Council had discretion in setting the fees, the Council were bound by legislation and case law. Distinct elements the Council needed to comply with were detailed at paragraph 2.6 of the report.
In accordance with the legislation, the Provisions of Service Regulation 2009 and the relevant case law, the cost of administering and processing each application had been considered. Where an element could be included for enforcement it had been listed separately. The costs were based on the time each application took to process and the costs of the licensing function. The revised fees following the review were attached as Appendix A of the report.
If the Council did not comply with the legislation and regulations, then it would be open to a legal challenge, which would have had serious implications both financially and for the Councils reputation.
Applicants could apply for their licence and pay either one of the following ways:
- a) Pay application and processing fee only (Application Fee)
- b) Pay application, processing and enforcement fee (Licence Fee)
Where the applicant had been unsuccessful in their application and had paid point b), they would be refunded the enforcement element of the payment. The Application Fee was non-refundable.
Following the Directors verbal presentation and responses to questions by the members, the Chairman facilitated a discussion on the proposed fees and charges.
Resolved – (a) That the fees and charges as detailed at Appendix A be approved, subject to all licences relating to sex establishments which would remain at the current total fee, and (b) that the fees and charges be advertised in accordance with any legal requirements.
1668 THE OPENNESS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES REGULATIONS 2014 – The Director: Operations submitted a report advising the Committee of all decisions taken by Authorised Officers of the Licensing Division, in relation to licences, registrations, permits and consents, under the scheme of delegation.
The adoption of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations in August 2014 changed the requirements placed on local authorities in regard to reporting decisions taken under delegated authority by Officers.
Prior to the new regulations, Officers were required only to produce a report on decisions taken under authority delegated to them under the Executive powers.
The requirement had now been extended to all decisions, whether made by an officer or on behalf of another committee/sub-committee or joint committee, in which the
Council participated. This applied where the decision had been delegated to an officer, either under a specific delegation or under a general authorisation.
A summary of all decisions made by officers for licences, registrations, permits and consents issued between 22 August 2019 and 22 October 2019 was made available on the Council’s website, at the meeting and was displayed in the group offices for viewing.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
1669 A GUIDE TO THE LICENSING (MISCELLANEOUS) SUB-COMMITTEE – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report to consider approval of a guide for applicants, licence holders and representatives attending the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee.
It had become apparent that often when applicants or licence holders were invited to attend a Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee they did not always know what to expect. They were unprepared for the case beforehand and were unaware of what actually happened at the hearing.
The committee heard that everyone was entitled to a fair hearing, therefore the guide had been written to prepare those that would be attending, which gave them a fair chance to put their case to the members of the sub-committee.
A copy of the guide was available at Appendix 1.
Members asked questions on aspects of the guide to which the Director responded to.
Resolved – That the guide be approved.
1670 APPEALS SUBMITTED TO THE MAGISTRATES COURT – The Director: Governance and Partnerships informed the sub-committee of two appeals. One Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee decision had been heard by the Magistrates Court, with the appeal being dismissed. However, a further appeal was lodged to the Crown Court. This was listed for Thursday 12 December 2019.
The second appeal was in relation to a licence which was revoked by the Sub-Committee on 1 August 2019. The Director: Governance and Partnerships was currently seeking to try and remove the appeal from the Court, as since the decision was made to revoke the licence, the company that held the licence had dissolved and therefore the licence had lapsed. This was listed for 29 January 2020 where the case would be presented, which would include an application for the Council’s costs to be recovered, dependant on the appeal being removed from court.
Resolved – That the position be noted.