Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley

Contact: Nina Neisser  Email: nina.neisser@chorley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

17.LPS.60

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 23 November 2016 of Licensing and Public Safety Committee pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee held on 23 November be confirmed as a correct record for signing by the Chair.

17.LPS.61

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

No declarations of any interests were received for any of the items on the agenda.

17.LPS.62

Public Questions

Members of the public who have requested the opportunity to ask a question(s) on an item on the agenda will be asked to put their question(s) to the Committee.  Each member of the public will be allowed to ask one supplementary question within his/her allocated 3 minutes. 

 

https://democracy.chorley.gov.uk/documents/s67429/Appendix%203%20Standing%20Orders%20Aug%2016.pdf

17.LPS.63

Minutes of the General Licensing Sub Committees

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the General Licensing Sub Committees held on 25 November 2016 and 7 December 2016 be confirmed as a correct record.

17.LPS.63a

General Licensing Sub-Committee held on 25 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

17.LPS.63b

General Licensing Sub-Committee held on 7 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

17.LPS.64

Part Time Relocation of the High Street Taxi Rank pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Report of the Director of Early Intervention and Support (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and Support submitted a report to advise the Licensing and Public Safety Committee on the results of the consultation to relocate the High Street taxi rank on Market days (Tuesdays); as part of the Market Walk Extension and wider town centre improvements.

The Licensing and Public Safety Committee gave approval on 23 November 2016 to consult on the proposed changes to the High Street taxi rank location, which is the responsibility of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee under the provisions of Section 63 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

 

A consultation letter was sent directly to registered Hackney Drivers; 13 responses out of 153 (9.6%) were received. 4 were in agreement and 9 disagreed with the proposal – 122 didn’t respond. The public consultation via Survey Monkey resulted in 56 responses of which 46 (75%) were in agreement and 15 (25%) disagreed.

 

It was also indicated that the Taxi Rank Relocation matter was taken to the Licensing Liaison Panel held in January 2017 where those present were in favour of the proposals. There was no Hackney Carriage representation at the meeting.

 

Relocating the rank on Tuesdays between 6am and 6pm around the corner to Cleveland Street would enable Chorley’s outdoor market to take place along High Street, in addition to a number of other pedestrian streets in the town centre. Chorley Markets are an important part of the town’s history and economy and the Council wants to ensure that the markets continue to thrive well into the future. The changes proposed in this report would support all existing stalls holders; both permanent and temporary to be offered a space when it relocates.

 

In addition to the proposed changes to the taxi rank location, there are a number of other changes to TRO’s which would be required. These changes are the responsibility of the Highways Authority who responded indicating that it would be best facilitated under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) which would enable changes to be made in the future should they be required if, after a period be operational practise, it proves necessary.

 

The committee addressed the public questions that had been submitted prior to the meeting and Conrad Heald, Market Walk, Markets and Town Centre Manager, provided responses to these questions. It was stated that the council could not give any reassurance in writing about the future location of the taxi rank as the new town centre masterplan proposed the redevelopment of High Street and Cleveland Street in conjunction with the new Civic Square. These outline proposals had already been consulted upon alongside the relocation of the Flat Iron market in October 2016 and further consultation would take place as plans are further developed. The committee were informed that this was a temporary location change in the initial instance, however if this was anticipated to change the Trade would be consulted.

 

Secondly, it was confirmed that the Portland Street car park could not be used as an alternative location  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.LPS.64

17.LPS.65

Introduction of a General Licensing Safeguarding and Suitability Policy pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Report of the Director of Early Intervention and Support (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and support submitted a report for the Licensing and Public Safety Committee to consider the proposed General Licensing Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy to support the Council’s licensing policies in the future.

 

Following the approval and adoption of the Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy for Taxi Licensing in 2015, a General Licensing Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy has been produced to cover a number of other licensing functions to ensure a consistent approach to all licensing matters in the future and enable efficient decision making.

 

Members were made aware that the legislation and byelaws associated with many of the Council’s Licensing functions do not reflect our current thinking in relation to safeguarding and risks, and therefore do not allow the consideration of wider issues in determining or applying conditions to licences.

 

The Regulatory Services Manager drew Member’s attention to the colour-coded table included in the report which indicated the risks and flexibility around this. Although legislation does not always support the implementation of conditions in relation to safeguarding considerations, members should note that there are also illustrations of good practice, promoted and encouraged by the Council. For example, Riding Schools commonly accommodate the teaching of children and also people with both physical disabilities and learning disabilities at their facilities. Legally we are unable to apply stringent safeguarding requirements. However, the British Horse Society has safeguarding guidelines and support for its members. The Council, through its policies, can encourage its licensed establishments to follow such guidelines and in this way provide as much reassurance to the public as possible.

 

Following adoption of the General Licensing Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy the Council would need to consider a programme for the review of the Licensing and Consent Policies and Procedures to ensure that they are updated and reflect the principles laid down by the Council in relation to Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions. This would include the proposed introduction of a Street Trading Policy, and where applicable, Animal Welfare Licensing and HMO Licensing policies. It was anticipated that reviews and timetables would be reported to future Licensing and Public Safety Committees.

 

Members expressed concern at the wording included in the Policy with regards to a sex-shop licence stating that access for under 18’s be ‘limited’. However reassurance was provided that a condition was included within the sex shop license to ensure that no under 18’s are allowed on the premises and therefore prohibition was already in place and covered by other parts of the legislation. It was verbally agreed that the wording of which on the Policy would be updated to ‘prohibited’.

 

After careful consideration it was proposed by Councillor Adrian Lowe, seconded by Councillor Hasina Khan, and subsequently RESOLVED unanimously;

 

  1. to agree the implementation of the proposed General Licensing Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy to support the Council’s licensing policies in the future, where applicable.
  2. that delegated power be granted to the Director of Early Intervention and Support to make amendments to the policy from time to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.LPS.65

17.LPS.66

Street Trading Policy pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Report of the Director of Early Intervention and Support (enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and Support submitted a report for the Licensing and Public Safety Committee to consider the consultation responses to the draft Street Trading Policy and agree the timescale for review of the Policy.

 

The Street Trading Policy refers to the General Safeguarding, Suitability and Convictions Policy that was determined earlier in the meeting by the Committee to support the decision making process.

 

The Policy will be a living document, so where legislation changes occur or decisions that impact on the policy are made by the Licensing and Public Safety Committee over the life of the policy, the document will be updated to reflect this. However, the philosophy would be that the policy, which has been consulted upon, would be the basis for all decisions and in normal circumstances the policy would only be subject to revision at the regular, timetabled review dates, where the changes would be subject to consultation.

 

The draft policy was out for consultation for a period of 12 weeks to the end of December 2016; each current consent holder was written to and provided a link to the council’s website, where the document was published.

 

The Council received one brief consultation response from a Consent Holder providing support for the introduction of a policy and suggested that the Council limit the number of Consents. However, other authorities operating a licensing scheme rather than a consent scheme have greater scope to limit numbers as the licensing provisions lend themselves to licensing pitches rather than providing a consent to operate within the wider borough limited only by prohibition on trading on certain streets and in specified areas.

 

There are currently 23 issued Consents, 17 of which are to applicants from within the Chorley Borough area, 6 from outside. Although Street Trading is very seasonal therefore the council often receives more applications in spring and requests to surrender and have the remaining months refunded as winter approaches, therefore putting a limit on this number was not recommended. It was suggested that this be monitored and brought back to committee if there were any significant issues.

 

The Street Trading Policy introduced a requirement for the applicant to complete a basic Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check, this may be by electronic update service. The cost of the DBS would be borne by the applicant. It was anticipated that this may naturally limit numbers.

 

The fees for Street Trading Consents have not been reviewed for a number of years. Chorley Council Finance Department have been asked to review the current fees in line with the requirement to ensure they reflect the cost of administering the consent and any additional enforcement or inspection costs associated with the consent.

 

Following discussion and careful consideration its was proposed by Councillor Adrian Lowe, seconded by Councillor John Walker and subsequently RESOLVED unanimously;

 

1.    to note the consultation response received on the proposed Draft Street Trading Policy

2.    that the Street Trading Policy be implemented with immediate effect.

3.    that a formal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.LPS.66

17.LPS.67

Consolidated Taxi Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Report of the Director of Early Intervention and Support (enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and Support submitted a report for the Licensing and Public Safety Committee to consider the consultation responses to the draft Consolidated Taxi Licensing Policy and agree the timescale for review of the Policy.

 

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy consolidates all previous Taxi Licensing policies, therefore the Licensing and Public Safety Committee has already carefully considered and made decisions on the details of each of the policies at previous committees. Members were informed that additional proposals were raised during the consultation period and were discussed at the Licensing Liaison Panel which were to be subsequently addressed at the meeting.

 

The Draft Policy was put out for consultation for a period of 12 weeks to the end of December 2016, each licensed driver, vehicle proprietor and private hire operator was written to and provided a link to the Council’s website, where the document was published.

 

Due to the volume of recommendations included in the report, the committee agreed to consider and vote on each recommendation individually in turn.

 

The Regulatory Services Manager drew Members’ attention to the first consultation response that was received from Coopers Taxis, the largest Private Hire Operator in the Borough. The email suggested the mandatory installation of CCTV in all vehicles, new and existing, for the following reasons; it had been recommended as part of the Safeguarding Awareness Training which was delivered to Members and the Trade in 2016. The cost of CCTV installation had reduced dramatically in recent years and camera systems could now be purchased for as little as £30. Responses from the Safeguarding Forum suggested that this practice was beneficial for drivers. For example, if a serious accusation is made against a driver they can be dealt with immediately and thus avoid the driver facing suspension whilst the incident is investigated. Members were made aware that this proposal had been raised with the Trade and the Licensing Liaison Panel in January 2017 and members present supported the suggestion.

 

With regards to a timescale for implementation it had been suggested at the Licensing Liaison Panel either the 1 January 2018 or 1 April 2018 for existing vehicles and new vehicles on grant. Members were informed that this time period would allow operators to install sophisticated systems if they desired. Members agreed that personal choice would suggest that they would want to install the systems as soon as possible and therefore recommended that this be exercised imminently but only mandatory by 1 January 2018. This also led members to suggest that no restrictions be made on the make or model as long as it was in compliance with the ICO guidelines.

 

Following further discussion and a verbal amendment to the recommendation by the Regulatory Services Manager, Members agreed to include a condition that the CCTV footage must be kept for a minimum of 28 days. Ultimately, the responsibility for storage would lie with the proprietor.

Furthermore, members agreed that signage must be visible in vehicles at all times to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.LPS.67

17.LPS.68

Any urgent business previously agreed with the Chair