Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee
Wednesday 13th October, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Katie Mogan  Tel: (01279) 502141 Email:  katie.mogan@eastherts.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

189.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Jones and Councillor Snowdon.

 

190.

Chairman's Announcements

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Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Chairman.

 

191.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members’ declarations of interest.

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Minutes:

Councillor Wilson declared that he worked as a Licensing Manager for Transport for London which involved input into policies for taxi licences.

 

192.

Minutes - 23 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

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Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Goldspink and seconded by Councillor Snowdon, that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23 June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 23 June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

193.

Licensing Sub-Committee - 27 May, 14 June, 9 July, 16 July and 17 August 2021 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To receive the Minutes of meetings of the Licensing Sub–Committee held on:

 

27 May 2021

14 June 2021

9 July 2021

16 July 2021

17 August 2021

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Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Symonds and seconded by Councillor Hall, that the Minutes of the meetings of the Sub-Committee held on 27 May, 14 June, 9 July, 16 July and 17 August 2021 be received. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the Sub-Committee meetings held on 27 May, 14 June, 9 July, 16 July and 17 August 2021, be received.

 

194.

Consideration of the revised draft Licensing Records Points Scheme following consultation pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the proposed Licensing Records Points Scheme following a consultation. At the previous meeting, the Committee agreed that the draft scheme should go out for consultation for a period of eight weeks. The consultation was due to take place between 19 July and 10 September 2021. However, it had been brought to Officers attention that the consultation had possibly not reached the whole trade and therefore, the consultation was extended to 22 September 2021. The Licensing Enforcement Officer highlighted the two responses received at Appendix A of the report from East Herts licence holders. They had raised a number of points but were dealt with separately with a response from Officers. As a result of the consultation, no amendments had been proposed to the draft scheme but the current scheme was in need of an update and no negative views had been expressed with the scheme in the past.

 

The Chairman referred to page 83 and the two responses received from the consultation. He said that although they did not relate to the consultation, he shared their concerns. He asked the Officers to investigate the issues raised and report back to the Committee with an update to see if there was a solution.

 

Councillor Wilson proposed an amendment to the scheme. He referred to paragraph 31 on page 91 and was unsure how late applications for a renewal of a licence would affect public safety. He said that the legislation stated that a driver must be fit and proper and he could not understand how a late application would impact on those criteria.

 

The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that she would be happy for this to be removed. She said that research had been conducted into what other Local Authorities do in the case of late renewal applications and the six points was common.

 

The Chairman added that East Herts worked together with Watford and Dacorum so schemes should be kept in sync.

 

Councillor Wilson suggested a further amendment at paragraph 22. He asked for wording to be added around the use of racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory language to send a clear message that East Herts did not tolerate its use. The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that she was happy to find the wording and add into the scheme.

 

The Chairman asked Councillor Wilson to discuss the additional wording with the Licensing Enforcement Officer and get it agreed with himself and the Vice-Chairman outside of the meeting. He then added that there were not many matters for which three points would be awarded in the scheme.

 

Councillor Goldspink said that she felt six points for a late renewal was unreasonable. She said that if a driver’s licence had expired, they could not trade anyway. She understood the need to keep in step with the other authorities but felt there should be no penalty.

 

The Chairman asked Officers if trading when a licence has expired was covered in the policy. The Licensing Enforcement Officer said  ...  view the full minutes text for item 194.

195.

Consideration of the revised draft Statement of Gambling Principles 2022-2025 following consultation pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer presented a report on the revised draft Statement of Gambling Principles 2022-25 following a consultation. He said that the Gambling Act 2005 requires each Local Authority to adopt and publish a Statement of Principles every three years. The consultation ran for four weeks from 22 August – 22 September 2021 and no responses were received. Officers suggested that the lack of responses did not reflect the quality of the consultation but was possibly a result of a combination of factors like the proposed changes were minor with little or no impact on licence holders and there have been no negative impacts from the previous statement. He also said that gambling has mostly moved online and the impact of the pandemic had further accelerated the shift. He confirmed there were no amendments to the draft Statement.

 

The Chairman acknowledged the work done by some Members who had fed into the Statement.

 

Councillor Bolton proposed and Councillor Goldspink seconded a motion supporting the recommendation in the report. On being put the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the final version of the Statement of Gambling Principles 2022-2025 be endorsed for presentation to the Executive.

 

196.

Review of Licensing Activity in Quarter 1 of 2021 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the Quarter 1 report on Licensing Activity and said that the figures were skewed due to the pandemic. She drew Members attention to Annex B, Part 3 and the Pavement Licences where a row had been omitted from the report. She confirmed that there were two new applications in Quarter 1 with six existing licences coming to a total of eight issued licences. She said that Officers intended to look at how the report was presented and how the information was displayed and asked Members for any feedback.

 

The Chairman said that he was pleased to see new applications and drivers passing their knowledge tests. He asked if figures could be recorded on the number of drivers who leave the taxi trade.

 

The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer said the information could be provided in the future.

 

Councillor Wilson said that there was national shortage of taxi drivers and said he had been unable to get a taxi in Bishop’s Stortford. He asked if it was possible to record the number of licences that are issued but not used.

 

The Licensing Enforcement Officer said an unmet demand survey was carried out 18 months ago and a cap had been placed on the number of Hackney carriage vehicle licences the authority would issue. She said that operators were reporting that they cannot employ enough drivers from East Herts and taxis were used differently across the District. It was common for people to go to the taxi rank in Hertford but in Bishop’s Stortford, phoning for a taxi was more common.

 

Councillor Symonds thanked Officers for their work in an enforcement case in her ward.

 

Councillor Redfern proposed and Councillor Goldspink seconded a motion supporting the recommendation in the report. On being put the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED -That the report be considered and reviewed.

 

197.

Urgent Business

To consider such other business as, in the opinion of the Chairman of the meeting, is of sufficient urgency to warrant consideration and is not likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.