Issue details

KEY - Business and Planning Bill 2019-21 – Pavement Licences

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, regulation 11, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed that the making of this key decision is urgent and cannot reasonably be deferred.  The Committee’s Chairman gave consent to rely on the special urgency provisions under the Council’s Constitution and the above regulations, for the following reasons:

 

·         As part of the government’s actions to support businesses to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown, a series of measures are set to be introduced under the Business and Parliament Act 2019-21, the status of which is only a Bill at the date of this notice.

·        The Bill was introduced to Parliament on 25th June 2020 without a prior Green Paper and national professional advice was only issued on 29th June 2020.

·        It is anticipated that the Bill will gain Royal Assent next week and, it is to be expected that the new powers given to district councils should be enacted equally swiftly.

·        One provision of the Bill/Act is that any business selling food or drink may apply for a temporary licence (not to last beyond 30th September 2021) to provide removable chairs adjacent to their premises in order to serve customers outside.

·        The Bill/Act states that district councils are the deciding bodies for these ‘pavements licences’. At present Highways Authorities (Hertfordshire CC) determine non-temporary pavement licences.

·        Determination of pavement licences is not reserved for full Council by the Bill/Act and so there is no expectation that the matter should be delegated to the Licencing Committee (which is a committee of full Council).

·        Establishing the policy and procedure is a matter for the Executive.

·        It is urgent that the council puts in place a policy and procedures for determining pavement licence applications given that the ability to apply for these is likely to come into effect soon after the Bill receives Assent.  The Executive meeting of 7th July 2020 provides an opportunity to approve the matter. Waiting to consider the matter at the Executive meeting of 1st September 2020 is not tenable.

  • This is a key decision given its significant impact in two or more wards. Clearly, it has not been possible to give 28 days’ notice of the matter being considered. 

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/07/2020

This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.

Reason for urgency:
As set out above.

Decision due: 7 Jul 2020 by Executive

Lead member: Executive Member for Neighbourhoods

Contact: Jonathan Geall, Head of Housing and Health Email: jonathan.geall@eastherts.gov.uk.