As part of the consultation process, to consider the Head of Environmental Health and Housing Services’ Report No. EHH1824 (copy attached) setting out the revised policy and to make comments or recommendations for report to and consideration by the Cabinet for determination.
The Committee considered the Head of Environmental Health and Housing’s Report No. EHH1824 regarding the preparation and publication of a revised Statement of Licensing Policy. Following various legislative changes and a review, a number of changes to the Council’s licensing policy were proposed to ensure that the policy was current and up-to-date.
The Committee was advised that, following consideration by the Cabinet, the revised licensing policy had been approved for public consultation. Given its role and responsibilities, the views of the Committee were sought on the revised policy and any comments or recommendations would be reported to the Cabinet for consideration and determination, as appropriate.
In considering the proposed changes, the Committee was advised of the legislative updates including:
· The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
· The Live Music Act, 2012
· The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
· The Deregulation Act 2015
· The Immigration Act 2016
· The Policing and Crime Act 2017
Under the Licensing Act, a licensing authority had to carry out its functions with a view to promoting the following licensing objectives. These were included in the proposed policy, namely:
· the prevention of crime and disorder
· public safety
· the prevention of public nuisance; and
· the protection of children from harm
The proposed policy also outlined the arrangements for the licensing authority to make recommendations in respect of the restriction of children to any exhibition of film which had not been classified by the British Board of Film Classification. This accorded with mandatory condition requirements applicable to the exhibition of films.
The Report then explained a change regarding neighbourhood notifications. It was proposed that the current policy of issuing neighbourhood notifications of applications should be withdrawn. This had been recommended on the basis that the Act placed the onus of advertising applications on the applicant.
The Committee noted that one of the key features of the 2010 policy review had been the implementation of a special policy concerning the cumulative impact of licensed premises. At the time, the policy had been implemented to restrict the grant and/or variation of premises licences in a defined area of Aldershot town centre and had been based on the request of, and evidence of cumulative impact provided by, Hampshire Constabulary. This special policy had been subject to annual review and, whilst invoked on a handful occasions, had lapsed after twelve months due to lack of continuing justification and evidence of an ongoing problem.
The Committee was advised that the Council had to consult a number of statutory stakeholders and individuals who might be affected by any changes (eg the licensed trade and residents in the area). It was proposed to run the consultation period until 19th October 2018. The Statement of Licensing Policy would be submitted to the Full Council for approval following consideration by the Cabinet.
Whilst subject to some discussion, Members made no substantive comments or suggested amendments on the contents of the proposed policy document.
RESOLVED: That the draft Statement of Licensing Policy contained in the Head of Environmental Health and Housing’s Report No. EHH1825 be endorsed.