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Agenda item

Licensing Act 2003 - Revised Draft Statement of Licensing Policy

Report of the Chief Licensing Officer

Minutes:

4.1

The Chief Licensing Officer submitted a report on the draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003.  The report, introduced by Claire Bower (Licensing Strategy and Policy Officer), contained the draft Statement of Licensing Policy, information on the public consultation process undertaken, attaching the comments received as part of that process, at Appendix ‘A’, and set out details of the process and timetable followed.

 

 

4.2

Claire Bower added that, further to the comments raised at the Committee's meeting held on 5th October 2020, when the item was first considered, the final draft Statement included revisions to the wording regarding the issue of vaping in licensed premises, following further discussions with the office of the Director of Public Health, and a document summarising the changes made to the draft Statement throughout the consultation was attached at Appendix ‘E’ to the report.

 

 

4.3

Councillor Douglas Johnson stated that, whilst endorsing the additional wording regarding the effects of vaping in licensed premises, he still had concerns at the fact that it was not clear as to precisely what revisions had been made to the Statement, and that he would not be able to support endorsing the document for this reason.  Councillor Ruth Mersereau supported this view, adding that whilst she welcomed the summary of changes, as set out in Appendix ‘E’, there was still a lack of detail, which made it very difficult to see exactly what revisions had been made.

 

 

4.4

With regard to the cumulative impact areas and areas nearing stress, there was broad agreement to the effect that, rather than listing specific areas in the Statement of Licensing Policy, an ongoing review of such areas should be undertaken, and the Committee would review and discuss the issues surrounding such areas as and when issues were raised.  The Chair suggested that such details be logged in a separate policy document, and that the Committee reviews this document on an annual basis, or earlier if specific issues arise.

 

 

4.5

Regarding the issue of the revisions to the Statement of Licensing Policy, the Chair stated that, in his opinion, the summary of the changes, as set out in Appendix ‘E’ to the report, provided members of the Committee with a sound basis for making decisions on applications made under the Licensing Act 2003.

 

 

4.6

In response to questions from Members of the Committee, it was reported that the Council was legally required to approve the Statement of Licensing Policy every five years and therefore, if the Statement was not agreed by the Full Council in December 2020, this would render the Policy invalid.  Claire Bower confirmed that there hadn't been any major changes to the wording of the Statement, and that the changes made mainly represented minor amendments to the wording.  From the 5,000 letters sent out as part of the consultation, only 31 responses had been received, which highlighted the fact that there were very few concerns with the contents of the document.

 

 

4.7

RESOLVED: That the Committee:-

 

 

 

(a)      notes the contents of the report now submitted, attaching the draft Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003, together with the comments now made and the responses to the questions now raised; and

 

 

 

(b)      approves the draft Statement of Licensing Policy, and agrees that it be referred to the Cabinet, at its meeting to be held on 18th November 2020, and to Full Council, at its meeting to be held on 2nd December 2020, for approval.

 

 

 

The votes on the above resolution were ordered to be recorded, and were as follows:-

 

 

 

For the resolution (7)

-

Councillors Andy Bainbridge, Karen McGowan, Joe Otten, Josie Paszek, Vickie Priestley, Jim Steinke and Cliff Woodcraft

 

 

 

 

 

Against the resolution (2)

-

Councillors Douglas Johnson and Ruth Mersereau

 

 

 

 

 

Abstention (1)

-

Councillor Bob Pullin

 

 

 

(NOTE: Prior to the passing of the above resolution, an amendment,  moved by Councillor Douglas Johnson and seconded by Councillor Ruth Mersereau, to replace paragraph (b) with the following, was put to the vote and negatived:-

 

 

 

“agrees that the draft Statement of Licensing Policy, in its current format, is not approved.”

 

 

 

The votes on the above amendment were ordered to be recorded, and were as follows:-

 

 

 

 

 

For the amendment (2)

-

Councillors Douglas Johnson and Ruth Mersereau

 

 

 

 

 

Against the amendment (7)

-

Councillors Andy Bainbridge, Karen McGowan, Joe Otten, Josie Paszek, Vickie Priestley, Jim Steinke and Cliff Woodcraft

 

 

 

 

 

Abstention (1)

-

Councillor Bob Pullin.)

 

 

 

Supporting documents: