NOMINATION OF CHAIR
In the absence of the Chair of the Licensing & Safety Panel, Members are asked to nominate a Chair for this meeting.
That Councillor Holt Chair the Licensing & Safety Panel.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Licensing and Safety Panel are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any of the matters on the agenda, and if so, to formally declare that interest.
There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.
The Minutes of the Last Meeting held on 26 November 2020 are attached.
That the Minutes of the last meeting held on 26 November 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Questions are invited from members of the public present at the meeting on any matters for which this Panel is responsible.
Approximately 30 minutes will be set aside for Public Question Time if required.
No public questions were submitted to the meeting.
A report from the Executive Director (Operations) is attached.
The Executive Director (Operations) submitted a report advising Members on operational issues within the Licensing Service.
The report set out updates in respect of the following issues:
COMMON MINIMUM LICENSING STANDARDS/CLEAN AIR
The Licensing Service would like to inform the Members of the panel that the consultation relating to the Common Minimum Licensing standards/Clean Air closed on the 3rd December 2020. Transport for Greater Manchester and the approved contractor are currently analysing the responses received.
A briefing session is being arranged early January for the Executive Member and Chair of Licensing Committee. This will be set up by Transport for Greater Manchester to brief members on the next steps regarding Clean Air and Common Minimum Licensing Standards.
COVID 19 – Covid Marshals
A team of Covid Marshals has been employed by Bury Council using funding from Central Government. The team commenced work on the 1st December and will be in place until the end of March 2021, it consists of 2 daytime marshals working 8am-4.30pm and 2 evening marshals working 4.30pm-11pm. We have also had extra marshals in place for the weekend 12/13 December and 19/20 December to assist with busy areas such as the market and Millgate shopping centre during the busy shopping period on the run up to Christmas. If Greater Manchester moves into Tier 2 extra marshals will be employed to help with checking of licensed premises in an evening.
Marshals working during the day have been handing out masks to students and high school children using public transport in the morning and afternoon at Bury, Prestwich and Radcliffe Metrolink stations. They have been assisting with queue management and giving advice to retail and close contact service staff regarding the wearing of face coverings. They have also been working in conjunction with markets management to assist with compliance of coronavirus restrictions on the market.
During the evening the marshals have been checking for compliance outside the park at the Lightopia event at Heaton Park as well as checking takeaways for staff and customers wearing face coverings and visiting licensed premises across the borough to ensure they remain closed except for takeaway. They have also assisted at various events taking place across the borough.
LICENSING HEARINGS PANEL - 6th October 2020
The Licensing service have received an application for the grant of a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of Eat New York, 24 Bury New Road, Prestwich, M25 0LD. This application attracted representations from Greater Manchester Police in their capacity as a Responsible Authority and 27 representations from interested parties. Members considered this application at a Licensing Hearings Panel on the 6th October 2020 and resolved that the premises licence be granted as set out in the updated operating schedule:
a. Supply of alcohol – For consumption On/Off the Premises.
Monday to Sunday 12.00 until 01.00
b. Provision of Late Night Refreshment (Indoors)
Monday to Sunday 23.00 until 01.30
c. Opening Times.
Monday to Sunday 10.00 until 01.30
The Panel ... view the full minutes text for item LSP.5
A report from the Executive Director (Operations) is attached.
The Executive Director (Operations) submitted a report relating to the review of a decision taken by the Council in respect of annual fees under the Licensing Act 2003 during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
It was reported that the Licensing and Safety Panel had received a report at its meeting on 26 November 2020 where it had been agreed to defer a decision of the Emergency Powers Group in relation to Annual Fees under the Licensing Act 2003 during the Covid-19 Pandemic to this meeting of the Panel in order that a further detailed report be submitted.
On the 14 July 2020, the Emergency Powers Group was consulted about an urgent decision that was required in relation to the suspension of annual fees payable under the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority had agreed a consistent approach which has been referred to the Wider Leadership Team as part of a number of measures to assist licensed premises as part of the lockdown easing as businesses reopen.
Members of the Emergency Powers Group (EPG) agreed to the proposed decision not to suspend any Licensing Act 2003 premises licences for non-payment of the annual fee until 1 December 2020. In addition it was noted that a review of this urgent decision would be referred to the Council’s Licensing and Safety Panel for consideration in November 2020.
The second lockdown was implemented by Government on 5 November 2020 and ended on the 2 December 2020.
On the 26 November 2020, a report was considered by the Licensing and Safety Panel to review the urgent decision taken on the 14th July 2020. Members resolved that the implementation of the decision, i.e. to commence the recovery of the annual fees that are payable under the Licensing Act 2003, be deferred so that a further detailed report could be prepared for consideration at the next meeting of the Licensing & Safety Panel in January 2021.
Since the meeting of the Licensing and Safety Panel on the 26 November 2020, the Government placed Greater Manchester in Tier 3 on the 2 December 2020.
The Licensing Service would like to inform members, no further guidance on a consistent approach has been issued by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority or the Wider Leadership Team on this matter.
The Licensing Service have liaised with the Council’s finance department and the annual fees are set up as a subscription. The invoices are then sent when required via this automated system to the licence holders of premises licences and club premises certificates, to advise them that the annual fee is payable. During the pandemic this invoices have still been being issued, but the Licensing Service have not been suspending premises licences or club premise certificates when payment has not been made. This is as a result of the direction of the Wider Leadership Team, the Combined Authority and the urgent decision in July 2020.
In light of the decision of the Licensing and ... view the full minutes text for item LSP.6
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider passing the appropriate resolution under section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business since it involves the likely disclosure of the exempt information stated.
That in accordance with Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business since it involved the likely disclosure of information relating to individuals who hold Licences granted by the Authority or Applicants for Licences provided by the Authority.
SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCES
Report from the Executive Director (Operations) is attached.
Licence Holder 22/2020
The Executive Director (Operations) submitted a report relating to Licence Holder 22/2020 who did not attend the meeting.
The Licensing Unit Manager reported that the Licence Holder had requested that an adjournment be granted as it was reported that the Licence Holder had not had enough notice to instruct a legal representative due to the Christmas and New Year breaks. The request for adjournment was read out verbatim by the Licensing Unit Manager.
The Council’s legal representative at the meeting advised Members that the Licence holder had received all of the paperwork relating to the case on 17 December 2020 and it was felt that this was a reasonable amount of time to enable legal representation to be sought.
It was also reported that through his legal representative, the Licence Holder had been advised that the Panel would hear the case in absence if they agreed to proceed. They refused to attend in person.
The Panel Members voted and, it was agreed that the request for an adjournment be denied and the Panel proceed with the case in absence.
On 14th October 2020, the licensing service received notification from Greater Manchester Police that this client had been issued with a fixed penalty notice for driving with incorrectly displayed number plates. Greater Manchester Police confirmed that whilst the fine is not endorsable; this is an MOT failure which renders the vehicle unroadworthy and is a breach of Private Hire Vehicle condition 3 which states: Condition of the Vehicle a. You must make sure that the vehicle is kept in a good condition. We can inspect and test the vehicle at any time to make sure it reaches out standards. b. You must keep the inside and outside of the vehicle clean and safe. c. You must not alter the private hire vehicle in any way without first checking with us. d. Inside the vehicle: Seats must be properly covered and upholstered; Floors must be covered by mats, carpets or other coverings which are clean and in good condition; and Any damage to upholstery or carpets must be professionally repaired.
This client’s vehicle was subsequently seen by Licensing Enforcement Officers on the 15th October 2020 and again on 6th November 2020 with the illegal number plates still in place on the vehicle. When asked about the matter in interview the client claimed that he had been unable to change the plates because the current pandemic had meant shops who manufactured the plates were not open. Halfords; a nationwide vehicle accessories retailer and supplier of vehicle number plates was considered an essential retailer for the purpose of the recent lockdown and consequently remained open throughout. The client claims that he has now rectified this matter and his vehicle now displays road legal registration plates.
On 5th November 2020, the licensing service received a complaint of poor driving. The complainant described how on the 5th November at 10am she was travelling in a vehicle, owned by her, being driven by her ... view the full minutes text for item LSP.8
APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCES A
Report from the Executive Director (Operations) is attached
Licence Holder 24/2020
The Executive Director (Operations) submitted a report relating to Licence Holder 24/2020 who attended the meeting. The Chair made introductions. The Legal Officer outlined the procedure to be followed and clarified that all those present had read the report. The report which was accepted by the Licence Holder set out the reasons for the Licence Holder being before the Panel.
This applicant had previously held a private hire driver’s licence continually since 29th November 2003 until its expiry on the 29th November 2020. He submitted an online application for the grant of a new Private Hire drivers licence on the 4th December 2020.
When a licensing advisor used the DVLA’s online portal to check this applicants driving licence the following conviction was found:
This applicant has therefore failed to declare this motoring conviction within the correct time frame as stipulated in the private hire drivers licence conditions. Condition 13 of this clients Private Hire Drivers Licence states:
Convictions – If you are formally cautioned for an offence or convicted of an offence you must tell us in writing, within seven days. Write to the Licensing Unit Manager, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ.
This applicant was subsequently interviewed by a licensing enforcement officer. He explained that that he was travelling on the M6 when he was stopped by the Police for doing 82mph in a 70mph zone for which he accepted 3 points and paid a £100 fine. The applicant was apologetic and stated that he has not tried to deliberately mislead the licensing service but had made a genuine mistake in failing to be fully aware of the conditions on his private hire driver’s licence. He stated that this is the first time his DVLA issued driving licence has been endorsed.
The Panel carefully considered the report, the additional documentation and oral representations by licence holder 24/2020 and taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, resolved, on a majority basis, grant the Licence application.