Venue: Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Carole Oliphant Member Services Officer
APOLOGIES AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS (02.35)
To receive any apologies for absence and notices of appointment of Substitute Members (if any).
Apologies were received from Cllr Mrs E M Andrews, Cllr J Downes, Cllr Miss J Norton and Cllr S J Penny
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT (02.56)
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and reason for that interest, either at this stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
Members were reminded of the need to make declarations where appropriate.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME (03.10)
To receive any questions relating to items on the agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
There were no members of the public present
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 6th August 2021
The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record and duly SIGNED by the Chairman
To receive the 3 yearly review of the Statement of Principles for the Gambling Act 2005 and to recommend to Council.
The Committee had before it a *report from the Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation and Housing presenting the 3 yearly review of the Statement of Principles for the Gambling Act 2005.
The officer stated that a review of the Statement of Principles was required to set out and adopt how the Council would carry out its duties.
He confirmed that the 2005 Gambling Act came into force in 2007 and set out the responsibilities of Local Authorities on the regulation of gambling activities.
He stated that there were no suggested changes to the core principles but only minor grammatical changes. He confirmed that a 6 week consultation had been conducted with relevant outside bodies and that no responses had been received so officers had concluded that the changes made were satisfactory.
It was therefore RECOMMENDED to Council that:
The updated Statement of Principles as contained in Annex 1 of the report be adopted with effect from 31st January 2022 subject to the following amendments:
15.10 – The geographical location of the premises, its levels of deprivation (where appropriate) and the socio-economic makeup of the area
17.20 – This Licensing Authority has noted the Gambling commission states that it generally does not expect licensing authorities to be concerned with ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way as this will have been addressed via operating and personal licences.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
Reason for the decision: To ensure that the updated Statement of Principles is formally adopted allowing for delivery against statutory duties
Note: *report previously circulated and attached to the minutes
ENFORCEMENT UPDATE (20.04)
To receive an enforcement update
The Committee was provided with the following update from the Commercial Team Leader Public Health:
Covid updates: Licensing committee
Given the unprecedented situation over the last 12 months, I wanted to give you some updates on the Covid work we have been undertaking, particularly in relation to licensed premises.
As you are aware the Covid restrictions have placed a great burden on these businesses. After January’s lockdown at the start of the year, we received a large number of requests from licensees, both for advice about how they should be operating their businesses in a safe and legal way, and for support at a time where normal operations were disrupted and the viability of some businesses was tested.
In Public health we have been there to support these businesses through this difficult time, ensuring open and honest engagement about the challenges they faced, offering help and advice and also dealing with complaints where businesses were not implementing the measures expected of them or were simply failing to adhere to the legislation. We were also mindful to be open and honest about the challenges we faced. We were as flexible as possible in supporting local businesses and the local economy whist still remaining mindful of the requirements and objectives of relevant coronavirus legislation.
Working within the context of increased workloads and at time reduced staff levels has been challenging and it has been necessary to prioritise requests, applications and hearings that are business critical.
The Government implemented a range of measures to provide financial support to businesses, but these more generic schemes did not relate to specific fees and charges payable by businesses. In terms of license fees we have been working hard to ensure we cover the costs of issuing and administering licences and the work this involves.
Throughout the last 12 months we have been working very closely with the police and as ever our working relationship is extremely supportive and connected. We undertook many out of hours spot checks, which was able to provide us with information pertaining to Covid security breaches and general compliance with license conditions.
The findings of these visits gave us a lot of confidence that the majority were adhering to the guidance and legislation which was really positive. We did however have to take some action against premises for non-compliance. In total we issued 3 fixed penalty notices and 1 prohibition notice to licensed premises. Interestingly all of the FPN’s were issued towards the end of the restrictions in June of this year, when I think Covid fatigue set in and business owners were becoming a bit complacent.
The payment for 2 fixed penalty notices have been settled, however we are looking into potentially pursuing payment of the 3rd FPN through the courts with the help of our legal team.
We also played a big part in the extension of special pavement licenses throughout Covid to enable more licensed premises to continue to operate safely. The increased use of outside spaces prompted ... view the full minutes text for item 14.