Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 1st December, 2020 6.00 pm

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Contact: Emer Moran  Democratic Services Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

LC1/20

Chairman's Introduction pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Announcement on procedural matters.

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Minutes:

The Chairman opened the meeting, introduced Committee Members and Officers in attendance, and outlined procedural matters of the meeting.

LC2/20

Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 5 KB

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Vice Chairman Councillor Woodward. Councillor Eilis was not present.

LC3/20

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda.  For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

LC4/20

Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak (in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18): pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Members should indicate which item(s) they wish to speak on and the nature of their concern/question/request for clarification.

 

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Minutes:

There were no visiting Members registered to speak.


Mr Clayton Berry registered to speak on agenda item LC6/20.

LC5/20

Minutes of the Previous Meeting dated 8 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That that the minutes of the previous meeting dated 8 September 2020 be approved as a correct record.

LC6/20

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing: Licence Fees and Charges 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

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Minutes:

Sharon Degiorgio, Senior Licensing Officer presented her report which outlined the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing: Licence Fees and Charges 2021/2022.

 

·         Members noted at Appendix A page 21 of the report there was a fee for the new (EQUO) online test (£66) which Members had previously agreed to implement. The authority had to introduce this test to comply with the new national standards to evaluate drivers understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation/Safeguarding, Disability Awareness and County Lines. 

·         This was a one off fee – once an applicant or driver renewal had passed the test there would be no requirement to re-take this at their next renewal date.

·         This fee would come into effect when this scheme was introduced in January 2021.

·         All other fees would be effective from April 1st 2021 subject to consideration of any unresolved written objections at Licensing Committee on 9 March 2021.

 

Mr Clayton Berry registered to speak, points raised included:

·         Mr Berry was in agreement with Gary Stevenson, Head of Housing, Health and Environment with regard to revised account figures.

·         Mr Berry advised that he spoke on behalf of himself and all drivers to voice their disgust at the decision by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to increase the Licensing Fees at an extremely difficult time for the trade due to the pandemic.

·         The little work available meant that drivers had put themselves at risk to ensure that key workers got to work, residents got to Covid-19 test centres amount other routes.

·         The only assistance drivers had been offered was a deferment of fees.

·         At the request of the other drivers, Toni Conlon had written to RH Greg Clark MP, for his support.

·         Serious concerns were raised about the mental health of drivers.

 

Gary Stevenson gave a verbal update to Members related to the supplementary document published which superseded appendix B in the report.

 

Members took account of the report and raised a number of questions and issues within their discussion. These included:

·         Separate to the consideration of the fees, it was advised that the discretionary grant was something the Council could consider and once the guidance on the new local based restriction grants were published the Council could review the key sector consideration.

·         It was noted that there did not seem to be any consistency to additional support across other authorities.

·         The deferral of the increase in licensing fees was suggested, this was addressed and it was advised that it may be possible to consider this at the next Licensing Committee in March 2021 after consultation took place with the trade and members of the public.

·         It was advised as the Council was in a deficit situation, the fee increase included part recovery of deficit in addition to an uplift of costs.

·         The Committee supported the Chairman in the task to lobby Central Government via RH Greg Clarke MP and David Candlin, Head of Economic Development & Property.


RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed fees set out in Appendix A for publication, consultation and implementation with effect  ...  view the full minutes text for item LC6/20

LC7/20

Licensing Fees and Charges 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sharon Degiorgio, Senior Licensing Officer presented her report which outlined the Licensing Fees and Charges 2021/2022.

 

Members took account of the report and raised a number of questions and issues within their discussion. These included:

·         It was advised that enforcement measures were in place to stop illegal scrap metal dealers.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the fee levels as set out in Appendices A, B, and C of the report for implementation on 1 April 2021, be approved.

2.    That the nationally set fees for 2021/22 as set out in Appendix D, be noted.

LC8/20

Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sharon Degiorgio, Senior Licensing Officer presented her report which outlined the Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026. 

 

Members took account of the report and raised a number of questions and issues within their discussion. These included:

·         It was explained that the Council did not issue a license in respect of a temporary event; the organiser would serve a notice on the council that a temporary event would take place and the only parties that could respond to that are the Police and/or Environmental Health, therefore without representation from either party against the notice the Council had no ability to serve a counter notice to prevent the event.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the revised draft statement of licensing policy following public consultation for ratification at Full Council, be approved.

 

The policy would be adopted from 7 January 2021 to remain in force for a period of five years, if approved by Full Council.

LC9/20

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

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Minutes:

There was no urgent business for consideration.

LC10/20

Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next Licensing Committee meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 9 March 2021.