Venue: Morecambe Town Hall
Contact: Sarah Moorghen, Democratic Services - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of meeting held on 1 July 2021 (previously circulated).
The Minutes of the meeting held on the 1st July 2021 were signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chair
There were no items of urgent business.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.
Councillors are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting).
Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Councillors should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting.
In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Councillors are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct.
There were no declarations of interest.
With the agreement of the Committee the Chair brought forward item 6 - Extension to Pavement Licence Provision.
Report of the Licensing Enforcement Officer.
The Licensing Manager presented a report which sought approval for the extension of existing administration and enforcement provisions contained within Part 1 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 in respect of Pavement Licences.
The Committee was informed that on 22nd July 2020 the Business and Planning Act 2020 (“the Act”) had come into force. Part 1 of the Act dealt with the consumption and sale of food and drink outdoors, and related to two particular licensing issues;
1. The introduction of pavement licences.
2. The modification of premises licences to authorise sales of alcohol for a limited period.
It was reported that the two provisions had been introduced as a temporary measure up to and including the 30th September 2021 only, in order to facilitate the operation of business within the restrictions/guidance in place at the time regarding the COVID- 19 pandemic.
The Committee was advised that on the 20th July 2021 amendments to the Act had come into force. The purpose of the amendment was to extend the current provision for pavement licences from the existing statutory expiry date of 30th September 2021 for a further 12 months until 30th September 2022 in order to further enhance the recovery of the local hospitality industry.
A copy of the Council’s amended policy was appended for the Committee’s consideration.
Councillor Joan Jackson proposed, seconded by Councillor Mel Guilding;
“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”
There being no dissent to the recommendations, the Chair declared the proposals to be carried.
1) That the existing fee of £100 that is set for the grant of a pavement licence for a further 12 months until 30th September 2022 be retained.
2) That where a pavement licence is granted it shall normally be granted for a period up to and including 30 September 2022 or a lesser period (not less than 3 months) as directed by the applicant or upon determination by the Local Authority.
3) That the policy and associated appendices (1-4) attached at Appendix A be extended for a further year to 30th September 2022.
Report of the Licensing Manager
The Committee was advised that in July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) had published its “Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards”. This was a statutory set of standards to which local authorities must have regard.
It was reported that the need to update and develop some of the Council’s licensing standards had been identified in the 2020 licensing workplan. In light of the updates required and the published DfT standards it was felt necessary to consolidate existing standards, policies and procedures into one document, suitable for applicants, officers, members and the wider public. This was the first time the Council had attempted to provide a single document containing all hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy. A copy of the draft policy was appended for the Committee’s consideration.
Members were advised that the content of the policy was a mixture of existing policies and procedures and new requirements which were motivated by the need to ensure that the primary and overriding objective of the Council’s licensing policies was to protect the public.
The Committee was advised that a 12-week consultation had been undertaken. All consultees had been contacted directly in writing advising them of the draft policy and inviting them to comment on the same via an online questionnaire. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic no face-to-face consultation was possible, instead the public was encouraged to review the draft policy and respond to the consultation via the Council’s website and social media platforms, including Facebook and twitter.
In addition, those with a specific interest in a section of the policy were signposted to relevant sections and encouraged to respond to proposals.
The approved consultation questionnaire and the consultation responses were appended for consideration by the Committee. Through the consultation process a total of 12 responses were received, 9 via the online questionnaire and 3 written representations.
The Committee expressed disappointment in the low response rate. Members were advised that all consultees had been contacted via email about the consultation and potential policy changes. The questionnaire had been devised specifically to make it as easy as possible to respond to the consultation. In addition, the Taxi Working Group had invited members of the Trade to attend meetings to discuss the proposed policies.
The Licensing Manager advised on the following matters which required decisions prior to the completed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, with final amendments being presented for approval at the next Licensing Committee.
The Committee considered each section and resolved, as set out below,
Section 3.2 Authorisation of Officers
The Committee was advised that the Department for Transport advocated the Council considering authorising neighbouring officers for enforcement matters and visa vera. The proposal was to be considered as part of the ongoing local authority reorganisation considerations.
There was no evidence to suggest there is a problem in Lancaster District with ... view the full minutes text for item 18.