Venue: Committee Room 1 - Hammersmith Town Hall
Contact: Sue Perrin (Tel: 020 8753 2094)
To approve as an accurate record, and the Chair to sign, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10 July 2013.
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2013 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record of the proceedings.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Alford.
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 over the last 12 months. It provides a summary of the Licensing Team’s staffing levels and performance for the financial year 2013/14, an update on service improvements, the Alcohol Licensing Strategy 2012 – 2015, the Licensing Team Service Review and legislative changes.
Valerie Simpson presented the annual licensing report, which provided a summary of the licensing team’s staffing levels and performance for the financial year 2013/2014; an update on service improvements; the Alcohol Licensing Strategy 2012/2015; the licensing team service review and legislative changes.
The report set out the licensing team’s performance in respect of the different types of licensing application; sub-committee hearings, the reasons for these hearings and the decisions; and appeals. There had been 24 licensing sub-committee hearings for new, variation and review applications in comparison with 32 in 2012/2013. There had been a small number of appeals. This area of work could take up a considerable amount of time and it was carefully monitored in light of the decisions made and the facts of each case.
There had been a change in approach to tackling and detecting non-compliance in licensed premises by acting on intelligence. Officers had worked closely with the Licensing Police Sergeant. who had worked actively with local businesses and helped them to develop action plans to address issues
There had been a decrease in the number of gambling premises in the borough.
Ms Simpson outlined the service improvements which included improvements to the Council’s Public Access to allow service users to view premises license details and current licence applications online. Applicants could now apply and pay online for nine types of license application.
There had been no policy changes since the previous committee.
The report set out the priorities for the following six months, including ongoing work to improve local pubwatch schemes and an update on the service review. There was a bi-borough Licensing Manager and licensing officers from the two boroughs would be able to share experiences and work jointly. However, the separate sovereignty of the two boroughs would be retained.
There would be further benefits and service improvements when the integrated licensing administration team was in place and officers co-located.
Ms Simpson then responded to members’ queries.
There was a zero-tolerance policy in respect of underage drinking. However, if there were mitigating circumstances such as a new person in post, good training records, no previous complaints or braches of license conditions, a simple caution might be deemed appropriate. Ms Simpson emphasised that there was a formal record of a simple caution. Other actions included a licensing review, whereby more stringent conditions could be attached and monitoring of the premises. There had been a number of prosecution cases during the year.
The appeal by Olympia Food and Wine, 9 Hammersmith Road had been withdrawn as a new application for a similar license had been granted without objection. There had been no evidence that the applicant was connected to the original premises.
The locations where there had been a reduction in gambling premises would be provided. It was believed that there had been an increase in high street betting shops.
Action: Valerie Simpson
The potential link between increased crime and fixed slot machines, at which money could be lost extremely quickly was noted.
In respect of ... view the full minutes text for item 4.