Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing and Enforcement Committee
Tuesday, 14th September 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP. View directions

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Items
No. Item

11.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To confirm the appointment made at the Annual Meeting of Council of Councillor Brooker as Vice-Chair of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Brooker was confirmed as Vice-Chair of the committee.

12.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on the 15th June 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 15th June 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

14.

Minutes of Licensing Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 686 KB

To receive the minutes of the following meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee:-

 

 

·       Thursday, 1st July 2021;

·       Thursday, 29th July 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee held on the 1st July 2021 and the 29th July 2021 were received.

15.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

16.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes, maximum 3 minutes per person)

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

17.

Common Standards For Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers in Gloucestershire pdf icon PDF 307 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Communities. The report presents to members the result of the consultation feedback on the draft Common Standards for Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers in Gloucestershire (following the publication of the Department for Transport (DfT) Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards).

 

The report also asks members to consider the consultation feedback and agree a final version of the Common Standards for Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers in Gloucestershire for adoption.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Team Leader presented the report of the Head of Communities. The report presented the result of the consultation feedback on the draft Common Standards for Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers in Gloucestershire (following the publication of the Department for Transport (DfT) Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards).

 

The Chair asked members if they required any clarification on the report.

 

Councillor Radley pointed to page 77 of the report pack, which detailed language proficiency requirements for Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Drivers. She stated that she would have liked to have seen more detail about what qualified as an appropriate educational certificate for criterion related to English proficiency and questioned whether more detail about what constituted an appropriate educational certificate could be included.

 

The Licensing Team Leader responded that she had made a good point, and that, should the Committee wish, they could incorporate more detail about relevant qualifications into the document.

 

Councillor Hyman stated that his understanding was that statutory guidance came from Central Government and was instructional. He asked whether this was the correct understanding.

 

The Licensing Team Leader replied by stating that his understanding was accurate. 

 

Councillor Tracey asked whether all drivers needed to undertake a safeguarding test.

 

The Licensing Team Leader replied that all drivers needed to undertake a safeguarding test. He stated that if the updated Common Standards document was approved by members, refresher training would have to be undertaken by drivers every three years, thus increasing the level of safety for passengers.

 

Councillor Radley asked whether the introduction of more specific guidance regarding what was deemed as an appropriate educational certificate would create a significantly higher workload for officers.

 

The Licensing Team Leader replied by stating that the proposed conditions still provided officer’s with discretion as they talked to the applicants. He stated that, they were trying to raise the standards of language proficiency of drivers across the county. He said that if it passed, then not all drivers would have to undertake an English proficiency language test, if they had a relevant qualification. He added that if this policy created any problems in the future, then it could be reconsidered at a future meeting of the Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor Tracey noted that it was a good report. She asked whether drivers currently checked their back seat for items between trips.

 

The Licensing Team Leader responded by stating that he had faith that Private Hire and Hackney Carriage drivers would check their back seats after each trip.

 

Councillor O`Donnell noted that not all staff would have to have an enhanced DBS check and that many drivers only required a basic check. He asked how the Council would ensure that all staff were fit and proper persons to hold a licence.

 

The Licensing Team Leader stated that DBS requirements came from Central Government. The Licensing Team Leader added that The Licensing Authority would require six-monthly checks when the requirement previously was for every 3 years. He added that they would be encouraging drivers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Gambling Act 2005 - Revised Statement of Principles pdf icon PDF 393 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Communities. The report asks members to consider the responses received during the recent consultation on the revised draft Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles and recommend to Council that the revised Statement of Principles for 2022-2025 be formally approved and adopted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Community Wellbeing Officer presented the report of the Head of Communities. The report asked members to consider the responses received during the recent consultation on the revised draft Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles and recommend to Council that the revised Statement of Principles for 2022-2025 be formally approved and adopted.

 

She stated that there were only minor changes to the revised Statement of Principles for 2022-25 and as such the document was approved for consultation by Cllr Walford (Licensing Chair) without the need for a full report to committee.

 

She stated there had been three responses during the consultation period from Gambleaware, The Betting and Gaming Council and the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership.

 

She stated that since the publication of the agenda pack that she had looked more closely at the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to Licensing Authorities in respect of the Betting & Gaming Council’s comment relating to the use of the words ‘promoting the licensing objectives’. She quoted from the relevant paragraph of the guidance which stated that the policy document should begin by stating the three licensing objectives which the policy would promote. Therefore, it was not necessary to change the word ‘promote to ‘pursue’ as originally intended.  She clarified that the licensing objectives of the Gambling Act 2005 were not the same as those of the Licensing Act 2003 and therefore the use of the word promote would not cause confusion.

 

Councillor Bowkett noted that the maximum stake that could be placed on B2 gambling machines was £2, he asked whether the Community Wellbeing Officer was aware whether the maximum stake for B1 and B3 machines had also been lowered and if not, whether there were any B1 machines operating in Gloucester. 

 

The Community Wellbeing Officer stated that she unaware of any changes to maximum stakes for B1 machines, or if they were currently operating in Gloucester. She stated that she would investigate and get back to Councillor Bowkett.

 

Councillor Tracey noted that it was a very detailed report.

 

The Chair stated that she echoed Councillor Tracey’s comments.

 

The Chair proposed to accept the recommendations outlined in the report. There being no dissent it was:

 

RESOLVED that the Licensing and Enforcement Committee APPROVE the Statement of principles and RECOMMEND that the revised Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles is approved and adopted by Council before it can advertise and publish it.

 

And

 

Ask Council to RESOLVE to adopt the Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles for 2022-2025 and to authorise the Head of Communities to publish and advertise it.

19.

Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Communities, which outlines to members, details of key Licensing Activities carried out from 1 June 2021 to 31st August 2021, including applications and service requests received, details of any enforcement work, progress updates of our work plan and any changes in Licensing Law.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Team Leader asked members whether they understood the contents of the report and whether they had any queries on any aspect of it.

 

The Chair pointed to paragraph 4.3 of the report. He asked for clarification on the levels of enforcement that the Licensing Team had undertaken since the previous quarterly report.

 

The Licensing Team Leader replied that owing to the pandemic, there had been a reduction in enforcement work. He stated that enforcement work had now began to pick up again and that officers had began to step up their evening enforcement work. He stated that the Licensing Team had managed to retrieve some annual fees and managed to get some unpaid annual fees back.

 

Councillor Bowkett asked why premises selling alcohol could only serve to persons who were clearly over 25, without identification where as the “think 21” policy for gambling stipulated that those clearly over 21 could operate gambling machinery without identification.

 

The Licensing Team leader responded that the policy regarding the sale of alcohol used to be to challenge those who did not clearly look over 21 and that this had been raised to 25.He said that whilst gambling operators did not have a think 25 policy, that they had robust measures in place and were heavily regulated, by the Gambling Commission as well as the Licensing authority.

 

The Chair noted that it may be useful for the Licensing Committee, if they were made aware of when Planning applications for Gambling Premises went before the Planning Committee.

 

 

RESOLVED that the Licensing and Enforcement Committee note the contents of the report.

20.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday, 14th December at 6.30 p.m.

 

Minutes:

Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 6.30 p.m in Civic Suite, North Warehouse.