Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 7 July 2015.
The Minutes of the Licensing Committee, held on 7 July 2015, were approved as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business
To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972
There were no items of urgent business.
Declaration of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
The Principal Licensing Officer introduced the report highlighting the summary of applications received under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 for the period of the 1 June 2015 to 31 August 2015.
Councillor Gerrish requested more detail in the summaries of applications. The Principal Licensing Officer apologised and informed the Committee that part of the summary had been missed due IT technicalities.
Councillor Palmer questioned if there were any trends regarding the number of applications received. The Principal Licensing Officer said that there was no significant trend but informed Members that there had been a slight increase in new premises licences applications, however there had been many premises that had closed down.
Councillor Redsell questioned why there was late temporary event notices for the Orsett Show. The Principal Licensing Officer informed the Committee that this was from company’s carrying out licensable activities on behalf of the Orsett Show.
1. To note the contents of the report.
The Principal Licensing Officer explained that the report set out the proposals for changes to the current Statement of Policy and Guidelines relating to the relevance of Convictions and other matters, seeking views of Members of the Licensing Committee on the proposals before the revised document went out for public consultation.
The following points were a summary of the proposed changes to the policy:
• Includes a particular reference to the failure to disclose/notify convictions, cautions or other relevant matters on application or during duration of licence, and that failure to do so may be treated as deception and could give rise to the refusal, revocation, or suspension for that reason alone.
• Makes clear that Cautions issued by any authority will be included, not just the police.
• Inclusion of Restorative Justice, Restorative justice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with their offenders to explain the real impact of the crime, for any kind of communication to take place, the offender must have admitted to the crime, and both victim and offender must be willing to participate. Restorative justice can be used for any type of crime and at any stage of the criminal justice system, including alongside a prison sentence.
• There is now an enhanced definition of the categorisation of offences with additional examples given.
• References to racially or religiously aggravated offences have been included, with the timescale for rehabilitation reflecting the seriousness of these Hate Crimes.
• The inclusion of Counter terrorism offences.
• Splits Motoring Convictions into three Categories: Major, Intermediate, Minor, and gave detailed examples of the type of offences under each category.
• Revised time periods for inclusion of motoring offences.
• Inclusion of reference to drivers repeatedly using unfit vehicles.
• Includes guidance on complaints received by the licensing department and other offences under the taxi legislation.
Members asked for further clarification regarding the DVLA traffic offences codes. The Principal Licensing Officer informed the Committee that a detailed copy of the DVLA Traffic offences would be circulated after the meeting.
Councillor Jones questioned how responsible taxi drivers were when using an unfit hire vehicle in line with the proposed change in the policy - Inclusion of reference to drivers repeatedly using unfit vehicles. The Principal Licensing Officer explained that it was the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle was fit for use. Members were informed that many taxi drivers in Thurrock used either their own or company vehicles.
The Committee were informed that all taxi drivers completed a DBS check (Disclosure Barring Service) when applying for a driver’s licence and every three years after that, Councillor Redsell queried if this was the same for school contracted taxi drivers. The Principal Licensing Officer confirmed that all taxi drivers followed the same procedure, it was added that DBS checks were sent off a few months prior to the drivers renewal date to ensure it was received on time. Members were informed that Essex Police would notify the Licensing Department regarding ... view the full minutes text for item 11.