An application has been received for a variation of the premises licence for the premise known as ‘More the Merrier’, 68 Kimberley Road, Bournemouth, BH6 5BY.
This matter is brought before the Sub-Committee for determination.
From BCP Council:
Linda Cole, Legal Advisor to the Sub-Committee
Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer
Michelle Cutler, Clerk to the Sub-Committee
The Chairman made introductions and explained the procedure for the Hearing, which was agreed by all parties.
The Senior Licensing Officer presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The Sub-Committee was asked to consider an application for a variation of the premises licence in respect of the the premise known as ‘More the Merrier’, 68 Kimberley Road, Bournemouth, BH6 5BY. The Application had been made by David Ramsey, Licensing Consultant, on behalf of the premises licence holder Esra Oksuz, to remove condition 2.11 imposed on the licence which stated that “Muzaffer Oksuz shall not be responsible for, or authorise, any sale of alcohol at the premises.”
The Sub-Committee was advised that a representation had been received from Dorset Police objecting to the removal of this condition as they remained concerned that Mr Oksuz was unable to commit to the promotion of the licensing objectives and would therefore undermine them.
The following persons attended the Hearing and addressed the Sub-Committee to expand on the points made in their written submissions:
David Ramsey, Licensing Consultant, representing the Applicant
Esra Oksuz, Applicant and current Premises Licence Holder and DPS of the premises
Azra Oksuz, Owner of the Premises
Louise Busfield, Licensing Officer, Dorset Police
The Chairman noted that Azra Oksuz did not speak fluent English, however, his daughter, Esra Oksuz, and David Ramsey, Licencing Consultant would be speaking on his behalf. Azra Oksuz confirmed that he had a good understanding of the English language.
The Sub-Committee asked various questions of all parties present and were grateful for the responses received. All parties were invited to sum up before the Sub-Committee retired to make its decision. Before concluding the Hearing, the Legal Advisor advised all parties of the right of appeal.
It was RESOLVED that the application to vary the premises licence of the premises known as ‘More the Merrier’, 68 Kimberley Road, Bournemouth, BH6 5BY, to remove condition 2.11 imposed on the licence which states:- “Muzaffer Oksuz shall not be responsible for, or authorise, any sale of alcohol at the premises.” be GRANTED.
Reasons for the Decision
The Sub-Committee gave detailed consideration to all the information that had been submitted before the meeting and contained in Agenda Item 5’, in particular the written and verbal representations made by Dorset Police, objecting to the application as a Responsible Authority. The Sub-Committee also considered the verbal representations of Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer, BCP Council; David Ramsey, Licensing Consultant, on behalf of the Applicant; Ezra Oksuz the Applicant and current Premises Licence Holder and DPS of the premises and Muzaffer Oksuz, the owner of the premises.
The Sub-Committee acknowledged the concerns raised both in the written representation and verbal submissions of Dorset Police over Mr Oksuz’s commitment to promoting and upholding the licensing objectives, as he had not been wearing a face covering as required under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020, when Dorset Police had conducted a visit to the premises on 16 March 2021. The written representation made by Dorset Police stated that this visit had been conducted because of reports regarding the lack of enforcement of wearing of face masks at the premises, but Ms Busfield, at the hearing confirmed that it was primarily a curtesy visit made to discuss the variation application.
Ms Busfield confirmed that Dorset Police had no recent concerns prior to this visit about any breach of licence condition or that the licensing objectives were being undermined, but they were not confident that Muzaffer Oksuz would not disregard licensing law should the condition be removed and he was once again able to authorise and take responsibility for the sale of alcohol at the premises.
The Sub-Committee was disappointed that during this visit, Mr Oksuz had been advised twice by Ms Busfield about wearing a face mask, but he still did not put one on, despite a customer entering the shop. The Sub-Committee was very clear that the issue of wearing a face covering and complying with the current Covid regulations was not a matter to be taken lightly and would not expect those working within licenced premises to disregard Covid regulations.
The Sub-Committee noted that there had been an assessment of the premises by Mr Ramsey who advised them that the conditions now attached to the licence had been described by Dorset Police as robust. 18 months had elapsed from the review of the premises, which took place in November 2019, with no breach of these conditions having been reported. Mr Ramsey also reported that Mr Oksuz had recently resat his APLH and had been granted a personal licence by BCP Council.
The Sub-Committee was of the view that sufficient time had passed for condition 2.11 to be removed from the licence and was satisfied that if the premises continued to operate in accordance with the remaining conditions on the licence, this variation to the premises licence should not lead to the licensing objectives being undermined at the premises. Despite being concerned about Mr Oksuz’s lack of compliance with the Covid regulations, the Sub-Committee was of the view that it would not be a proportionate reason to refuse the variation application.
The Sub-Committee noted that no other persons or other Responsible Authorities had objected to the application to vary the licence.
In reaching its decision the Sub-Committee did not take into consideration the financial hardship outlined to them during the hearing that was said to have been suffered by Mr Oksuz and his family as a result of condition 2.11 being imposed on the premises licence, as this was not within the remit of the Sub-Committee.
The Sub-Committee wished to remind both the Premises Licence Holder and DPS, Esra Oksuz and Muzaffer Oksuz of their responsibility to manage the premises responsibly, in order to promote all of the licensing objectives and they expect the premises to be kept under scrutiny by the Licensing Section and be subject to enforcement visits from the Council or Dorset Police as necessary.
It was noted that a further review of the premises licence could be applied for at any time by a Responsible Authority or any other person should there be any issues associated with the premises in the future that undermine the licensing objectives.
Right of Appeal
All parties to the application have the right to Appeal to the Magistrates Court within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the Applicant is notified by the Licensing Authority of this decision in writing.