Venue: Council Chamber - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
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.
Councillor Matt Uberoi declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 1 as an occasional customer of the premises in question.
Christina Perez-Trillo (Licensing Officer) reported that the application for review of a premises licence was made on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the protection of children from harm following a failed underage test purchase, seizure of non-UK duty paid alcohol and recurring breaches of licence conditions found between 8 September 2017 and 12 September 2018.
Adrian Overton (Licensing Officer) reported that officers were seeking revocation of the licence due to numerous breaches of conditions. The premises were located near Stamford Bridge stadium and the Police expected special care with regard to the sale of alcohol to drunk fans and the sale of individual cans. The shop was observed selling alcohol within two hours of football fixtures and had sold alcohol to someone who was underage.
The premises had received multiple warnings from the Police and the Licensing team but the breaches continued – often the same breaches made over and over again. The authorities considered there to be either a lack of regard or serious management issues.
The Police supported the recommendation to revoke the licence due to issues of crime and disorder, public safety, and protection of children from harm. There were anti-social behaviour issues in the area and the Police required licence holders to be responsible and take measures to mitigate their impact.
The Police had made seven visits to the shop this year and had found 12 conditions breached. A number of these breaches took place around football matches. Alcohol fuelled potential disorder and every game was a major challenge for the Police. The premises breached football conditions on three occasions this year, once shortly after a warning. The Police said they found that to be unacceptable and irresponsible.
The Police reported that they had no confidence in the operation of the business. They believed breaches would continue and the only way to prevent further breaches was to revoke licence.
Trading standards reported that they also supported revoking the licence due to the history of non-compliance. They cited the incident of sale of alcohol to an underage person and noted that there should have been checks on buying alcohol without duty paid.
Councillor Belinda Donovan addressed the Committee on behalf of local residents. She reminded the Committee of the licensing authority’s responsibility to protect the borough’s children from harm and noted that the shop had been found to be selling alcohol to underage children.Councillor Donovan said the local Neighbourhood Watch asked that the licence be revoked for the safety of the area’s children.
Premises licence holder and representative
Mr Robert Jordan (Licence Holder’s Representative) addressed the Committee on behalf of the licence holder and said the licence holder was happy to take on board any additional conditions to help prevent further issues. He assured the Committee that staff would complete the required training.
Mr Jordan stated that some of the breaches took place before the current DPS was in place. He agreed that management could have ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Adrian Overton (Licensing Officer) reported that the application for a special treatments licence had been made by Organic Hammersmith. During the application process the Police had provided evidence of sexual services offered at the premises and have asked that the licence was not granted.
The Police representatives made the following points:
• On 22 August 2018 the Police received information from the Home Office about a massage parlour and connections to prostitution.
• On 28 August 2018 the Police conducted an inspection of the premises and arrested three women for immigration offences. There was also evidence of sexual services being offered.
• On 19 September 2018 the Police received a phone call from a member of the public stating their friend had unprotected sex with a prostitute at the premises and had contracted an STD. The Police were also made aware of evidence of prostitution at the premises from the website ‘UK Punting’.
• During a visit their special treatment licence on display had expired but they were open and trading as normal.
The Police believed, on the balance of probabilities, that the premises was being used as a brothel and they strongly recommend denying their application.
Richard Barca (Legal Representative for the Applicant) addressed the Committee and noted that the premises were open and trading and are entitled to trade without a special treatment licence due to some of their therapists being members of the Association of Chinese Medicine Practitioners (ACMP). Mr Barca was clear that no sexual services were allowed on the premises and there were clear warnings to that effect in the treatment rooms. Regarding the staff without visas, the breach happened while the owner was away in China so the proper checks weren’t made. Usually all staff visas would be checked. Since August officers had made seven or eight visits and found no further issues. He noted that Dr Jia, Chairman of the ACMP also supported the application for a licence.
Members asked for more information on the Police’s welfare visit. PC John Jackson reported that on 28 August 2018 the Police conducted a welfare visit - on seeing officers, two women ran out the back of the premises. Officers spoke to one of the women who stated she had been working alternate weeks from 10am and to 10pm for 15 pounds per hour. She had been living in Manchester and occasionally staying in the premises itself. During the visit officers saw items that raised suspicions including condoms and a large amount of cash. The woman questioned said colleagues offered sexual services. The main concern for the Police was the welfare of the women who worked there.
Councillor Natalia Perez asked what the ages of the women were. PC Jackson said they were mid-20s to mid-30s.
Councillor Matt Uberoi asked if staff were directly employed, or contractors, or self-employed. The Applicant said they were paid an hourly rate.
Councillor Uberoi asked if there were further reviews referring to the premises on ... view the full minutes text for item 4.