The Chair will provide updates on:
The Chair provided the Committee with an update on the following matters:
At the Council meeting on 8 December 2020 it was agreed to delegate the setting of dates to the Chair of the Licensing Committee to enable Sub Committees to be arranged on the preferred set day of Wednesday to overcome any difficulties for members in attending on other days of the week. The Chair explained that on occasion the Sub Committee would meet on a Thursday, only when clashes with Cabinet were unavoidable due to live streaming requirements. No objections to the proposed change had been received following an email consultation. The Chair had now agreed the revised calendar and this would be circulated to the Committee after the meeting.
The Chair referred to the current membership rota, and the need for sufficient cover at all times to ensure that sub committees were quorate and able to conduct statutory business. The Committee agreed to the suggested trial of a second reserve for sub committees up until May 2021.
The Chair reported that she had asked the Head of Democratic Services to prepare an options paper to enable members to review the current administrative arrangements for sub committees, including the membership rota and use of the second reserve. This would be considered at the next ordinary full Committee meeting on 4 March 2021.
The Chair responded to a query about training and confirmed that it was her intention to arrange for a comprehensive training session to be held in the new year. This would be open not only to Committee members, but to all councillors to assist them in their ward roles and in substituting on the Committee if ever required (with the exception of Licensing Act 2003 business). In the meantime, she advised Committee members to contact Democratic Services if they had any specific training needs.
The Chair commented on recent correspondence sent direct to Committee members, including emails from the Taxi Trade in relation to policy matters and the receipt of an objection to a premises licence. She reminded members, particularly for the benefit of those newly appointed, that it was not appropriate to respond to such approaches with any comments, as this may later fetter the discretion of members to take part in determining those items at meetings. It would be helpful to agree a pathway for responding to such communications.
The Senior Solicitor advised that it was acceptable to acknowledge the receipt of correspondence, but then forward this to the licensing team to be considered as a representation. This was in line with the recommended response given by planning committee members when being lobbied. If unsure, members could always contact Democratic Services and ask for a response to be sent on their behalf.
The Senior Licensing Officer advised that the email objecting to the premises licence was likely to be a one-off occurrence, as a result of the applicant’s solicitor publishing the incorrect Council email address in the statutory notice. She confirmed that all Council templates contained the correct contact details.
The Chair intended to send a suggested form of words to assist members in replying to any lobbying/enquiries.