Agenda item

Statement of Licensing Policy

The report of the Director – Neighbourhoods is attached.


The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety, Councillor Inglis presented the report of the Director – Neighbourhoods outlining the new Statement of Licensing Policy.


In moving the recommendation, Councillor Inglis advised that under theLicensing Act2003, the Council wasrequired toproduce aStatement ofLicensing Policy every five years, which was now due.This draftPolicy had undergone public consultation and then been endorsed by the cross-party Licensing Committee on 17 October. Councillor Inglis confirmed that the Council wasresponsible forlicensing andregulating licensedpremises in respect of the four licensing objectives as detailed in Section 4 of the Licensing Act 2003, together with issuingpersonal licencesto sellalcohol, transfers andvariations oflicences and processing noticesfor temporaryevents.  Councillor Inglis referred to the amendments to the current Policy, as detailed in Paragraph 4.6 of the report, which were welcomed.  Council noted that there was a new inclusion in the transfer of pavement trading licences to the Council and an amendment to the response from the Director of Public Health regarding specified areas. Councillor Inglis advised that the Policy had been updated, taking into account changes in legislation and updated policies and he considered it to be proportionate and relevant to the Council’s obligations, and he asked Council to endorse the recommendation, to ensure that the Policy could come into force from 7 January 2024.


Councillor Matthewsseconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor Chaplain confirmed that the Policy had been examined in detail by the Licensing Committee and referred to the unanimous agreement to amend Paragraphs 4.7 and 4.8 of the Policy, which in the draft had named specific areas of the Borough as having relatively higher levels of alcohol associated harm.  Whilst being very pleased that the Policy emphasised that employers had a duty of care to ensure that all staff working late or unsocial hours got home safely, Councillor Chaplain stated that she would have been happier if the wording had been stronger and referred to the Unite Union’s ‘Get Me Home Safely’ Campaign, which called for the granting of licenses to be dependent on the provision of free transport, and she hoped that the Council could work towards that.  The issue of ensuring that staff were aware of their rights had also been questioned at the Licensing Committee, as it was felt that there was no point if staff were unaware that help was available. Councillor Chaplain thanked officers for their hard work in preparing the document and confirmed that the Labour Group supported the recommendation.


Councillor Chewings agreed that the Policy had received broad support at the Licensing Committee meeting, he fully supported the document and thanked officers for the significant work undertaken to produce it.


Councillor R Mallender reiterated previous comments regarding the thorough discussion of the Policy at the Licensing Committee and confirmed that he was happy to support the document.


In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Matthews thanked Councillor Chaplain for raising those issues and for her time on the Committee.  Councillor Matthews confirmed that there was unanimous agreement to the list of amendments, the majority of which were procedural to reflect national changes.  Councillor Matthews stated that he had been very reassured by officers, that in respect of the ‘Get Home Safely’ Campaign, they did check with both the licensees and privately with staff, to ensure that this was happening.  Councillor Matthews concluded by thanking officers for their hard work in preparing this Policy.


Councillor Inglis thanked officers for their hard work and all those for their input, especially the Licensing Committee and reiterated the Council’s commitment to ensuring that all staff got home safely after work.  


It was RESOLVED that the adoption of the Statement of Licensing Policy be approved.

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