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To approve as an accurate record, and the Chairman to sign, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 July 2012.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 11 July 2012 be confirmed and signed as an accurate record of the proceedings.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Alford, Brocklebank-Fowler, Carlebach, Crofts, Dewhirst, G. Donovan, Karmel and Aherne.
Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Thorley.
Declarations of Interest
If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.
At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.
Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.
Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
This report is to inform the Licensing Committee about the work of the
Licensing Team in the 2012-13 Municipal Year. It includes information on appeals from Legal Services and an update on the Bi-borough Licensing Service Review. There will also be an update from Police Sergeant Stuart Ratcliffe, Licensing Sergeant for Hammersmith and Fulham.
Valerie Simpson, Head of Licensing and Trading Standards presented the annual licensing report, which gave an overview of the licensing team’s performance over the last 15 months.
She said that the number of applications for new premises licences had decreased, but the number of applications for Temporary Event Notices (TENs) had increased. It was thought that this increase was partly due to a change in the regulations, and partly an effect of the Olympics. The number of review hearings had decreased relative to 2011/12, and this was thought to be because more premises are being compliant. There had been several successful prosecutions of premises.
Ms Simpson also noted that service improvement work had been ongoing, in order to improve the public face of the service, make it easier for the public and the police to search for licenses and make online applications. In response to a question from Councillor Thorley, Lewis Aldous, Licensing Officer, said that all existing licenses can be viewed online.
Councillor Harcourt noted an increase in the number of betting shops in the borough. He asked whether the authority had considered taking steps to prevent the proliferation of betting shops, as had been done in the London Borough of Newham.
Ms Simpson said that, in its capacity as a licensing authority, the Council was constrained in its attempts to limit the number of betting shops that open in the borough because each application has to be considered on its own merits. However, she emphasised that licensing worked closely with planning on gambling applications, and she attended the Council’s business strategy group, which was taking positive steps to encourage new businesses to the area.
Sergeant Stuart Ratcliffe of the Metropolitan Police said that, based on the records he kept, gambling premises were not associated with high levels of crime and disorder. Councillor Cartwright agreed that there were not high numbers of crimes in gambling premises, but pointed out that in his role as a magistrate he saw large numbers of people in court who had lost their money in betting shops.
Councillor Needham said that there was a misconception amongst the public that their views would be taken into account in relation to licence applications under the Gambling Act 2005 in the same way as they are considered under the Licensing Act 2003. She also said that gambling was associated with domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Councillor Ivimy agreed, saying that these concerns had not been taken into account under the Gambling Act.
The Chairman said that the concerns of the committee had been noted.
Sergeant Ratcliffe provided an update on the activities of the police over the previous year. He thanked the committee for their work over the previous year. He said that despite the challenges presented by the Olympics, which had put a strain on police resources, there had been 200 fewer offences (a 9.5 % reduction) in Licensed premises in Hammersmith in Fulham compared to the previous year. Performance ... view the full minutes text for item 4.