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Appointment of Vice-Chairman 2022/23
It was moved by Councillor Andrews and seconded by Councillor Page that Councillor Bolton be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Committee for 2022/2023. After being put to the meeting, and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that Councillor Bolton be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Committee for 2022/2023.
To receive apologies for absence.
There were apologies for absence from Councillors Hall, Reed, Symonds and Wilson.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any Members’ declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 October 2021.
It was moved by Councillor Bolton and seconded by Councillor Jones, that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 October 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 13 October 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive the Minutes of meetings of the Licensing Sub–Committee held on:
13 October 2021
15 October 2021
8 November 2021
5 May 2022
9 May 2022
29 June 2022
8 July 2022
8 August 2022
20 September 2022
It was moved by Councillor Snowdon and seconded by Councillor Jones that the Minutes of the Sub-Committee held on 13 October 2021, 15 October 2021, 8 November 2021, 5 May 2022, 9 May 2022, 29 June 2022, 8 July 2022, 8 August 2022 and 20 September 2022 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 held on 13 October 2021, 15 October 2021, 8 November 2021, 5 May 2022, 9 May 2022, 29 June 2022, 8 July 2022, 8 August 2022 and 20 September 2022, be received.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer introduced the report alongside Agenda Item 8 - the Review of Licensing Activity Report – Quarter 1, 2022/2023.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer drew Members’ attention to paragraph 3.1 of the report. She explained that although the number of enforcement visits recorded for the last financial year was zero, this did not include the Covid visits which officers had conducted every weekend during this period.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that the relaxation of lockdown measures had seen both activity and the number of events increase, thus increasing the number of complaints being received. She said that the two live cases highlighted in the report were ongoing, requiring substantial investigation (including PACE interviews) to enable resolution. These live cases had therefore carried into the Quarter 1 report and would carry again into the forthcoming Quarter 2 report.
Councillor Redfern said that there were lots of complaints being received from constituents regarding town centre street nuisance from licenced premises and asked if such complaints fell under the remit of Licencing.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that when complaints were received, they were dealt with in a stepped approach. She said that the Police and Environmental Health would first look at the complaints under the relevant Crime and Disorder and Noise Nuisance legislation, before taking any formal action themselves. The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that enforcement action from Licensing would be the last resort, with matters only proceeding to a Licensing Sub-Committee if the premises was called to review for being in breach of a current license, or if an application for a new premises licence had been objected to.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer said that such constituent’s complaints should be directed to Licencing. She advised the Committee that out of hours enforcement work was being stepped up in partnership with the Police, with Officers being out in Hertford and Ware last weekend.
Councillor Snowdon referred to page 152 of the Review of Licencing Activity – Quarter 1, 2022/2023 report and asked for some context to the decrease in the number of taxi licences, noting the slump in licence numbers since the pandemic.
The Chairman reminded Members that a policy had been adopted by the Committee to keep taxi licence numbers to a level of around 200, and that no pressure had been felt to increase this since.
Councillor Snowdon said that he was receiving a rising number of complaints from Bishop’s Stortford residents regarding the lack of availability of taxis, and that this was an issue which he had been asked to raise at the Licensing Committee. He asked if it was felt that the limit on licence numbers was still appropriate and if more could be done to attract more taxi drivers. He added that Uber was not prevalent in Bishop’s Stortford causing a reliance in the area upon local taxis.
The Senior Licencing and Enforcement Officer said that the limitation to taxi licence numbers was made three years ago. He said that the Unmet Demand Survey ... view the full minutes text for item 188.
Members reviewed and commented on the report alongside Agenda Item 7 – The Licensing Annual report 2021/2022. The narrative for this item can be seen in the minutes for Agenda Item 7.
It was moved by Councillor Jones and seconded by Councillor Bolton that the recommendations, as detailed, be approved. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED - that Members review and comment on the Review of Licensing Activity for Quarter 1 of 2022/2023.
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.
There was no urgent business.