The Head of Housing and Health submitted a report inviting Members to consider the responses to the public consultation on the draft position statement ‘Licensing Decision Making relating to the Night Time Economy’.
The Service Manager (Licensing and Enforcement) advised that 11 responses had been received from various parties. The responses were detailed at Essential Reference Paper ‘B’ of the report submitted and all the points raised had been responded to and taken on board. Members were referred, in particular, to a response from a licensing solicitor on behalf of a licence holder.
Members were also referred to page 145 of the report submitted for the final wording of the Night Time Economy Position Statement. The Service Manager explained that Members were being asked to endorse the final wording and recommend this to Council for adoption as an addendum to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy.
Councillor Mrs R Cheswright commented that the Solicitor’s response on behalf of the licence holder was relevant and helpful. The Service Manager advised that Officers had tried to ensure that the wording was in plain English as most of this submission had come directly from legislation.
The Chairman emphasised that having policies worded in plain English would assist Members in explaining and justifying decisions to the public. Councillor T Page referred to the lack of a response from Bishop’s Stortford. He was assured by the Service Manager that the consultation had been open to all and that all licence holders had been contacted directly.
Members had a discussion in respect of the differing dynamics of the night time economies in Bishop’s Stortford and Hertford. Councillor N Symonds stated that Hertford at Midnight to 1 am was very busy whilst Bishop’s Stortford at the same time was comparatively quiet. Councillor B Deering referred to the Blackbirds pub in Hertford as being the only premises perceived by Hertfordshire Constabulary to not be operating live ID in the town.
The Service Manager stated that the police were free to review premises licences and he believed that the Blackbirds situation was a case where the police meant that this was a licensed premises, where they would like to see live ID rather than this being the only venue in Hertford that did not have this system.
The Chairman commented on the significant costs involved in clearing up after the night time economy in Hertford. Councillor K Crofton referred to the possibility of Members observing the work of Hertfordshire Constabulary in reference to the policing of the night time economy. The Service Manager commented on the possibility of this being arranged in the run up to Christmas.
Councillor Mrs R Cheswright praised the positive work carried out by the Street Pastors in assisting with managing the impact of the late night economy. Councillor M McMullen proposed and Councillor N Symonds seconded, a motion that the wording of the position statement be endorsed and the final wording be recommended to Council as an addendum to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy.
After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED. Members supported the recommendations now detailed.
RECOMMENDED – that the report be received and the final wording of the position statement be endorsed as an addendum to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy.