To review the draft Statement of Licensing Policy and provide any comments to the Licensing Committee for their meeting on 22 October 2020.
The committee received and considered a report of the Service Manager, Licensing and Community Safety, which set out the requirement of the Council, as Licensing Authority under the Licensing Act 2003, to publish a Statement of Licensing Policy at least every five years. The purpose of the policy statement was to define how the Council would exercise its responsibilities under the Act, and had been prepared by officers, considered at an informal meeting of the Licensing Committee and had been published, in draft format, for a period of public consultation of 12 weeks, between 6 July and 27 September 2020. The Service Manager, Licensing and Community Safety noted that a few amendments had been made to the draft policy following the public consultation period.
The reviewed Statement of Licensing Policy would be considered by the Licensing Committee and then on to Full Council for adoption.
The Place and Resources Overview Committee had the opportunity at this meeting to review the draft Statement of Licensing Policy and provide any comments to the Licensing Committee.
Councillors considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion the following points were raised:
· The Chairman asked that the use of 12/24 hour timings in the draft policy be standardised
· Councillors supported the contents of the draft policy and felt that it covered all issues in depth. Councillors expressed their thanks to officers involved in drafting the report and to the Chairman, Vice-chairman and members of the Licensing Committee for their role
· A point was raised that there had not been many responses to the public consultation but it was felt that this reflected the strength of the draft policy
· A discussion was held in respect of whether a late night levy should be available to the council and whether this was something that the committee could recommend to the Licensing Committee for further consideration
· Some views in support of having a late night levy were expressed and it was noted that the council could have the ability to have a late night levy which could only be used if necessary. This could be progressed as a separate issue to the draft policy
· The Service Manager, Licensing and Community Safety reported that this issue was to be raised at Licensing Committee on 22 October with a view to bringing a report back to the Licensing Committee at an appropriate time in order to fully consider all related issues. It was noted that a late night levy if agreed, would apply to the whole council area and all premises, although there was the ability to exclude certain types of premises
· A point was noted that applying a late night levy could be seen as unfair on the late night sector, alongside other cost factors that they had to consider
· All these comments could be taken on board by the members of the Licensing Committee
· Further to the discussion, it was agreed that this committee would not make a recommendation in respect of the late night levy and that it was noted that the issue would be raised at the Licensing Committee with a future report on the issues arising.
Comments would be passed to the Licensing Committee when they considered the draft policy at their meeting on 22 October 2020.