Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Bill Lee, e-mail:  william.lee@hounslow.gov.uk or by phone on 020 8583 2068 

Items
No. Item

12.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Cllr Adrian Lee sent apologies for absence.

13.

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2013 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Liz Mammatt advised that there was a typographical error in Item 10 line 9 (page 1); the word “deigned” should read “designed”. The minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2013 were agreed to be an otherwise true and accurate record and signed.

 

14.

Minor Variations (delegation to officers) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

Please see the report by Lewis Aldous (agenda item 3).

 

Lewis Aldous presented the report.

 

Cllr Brad Fisher asked for clarification with regard to the definition of “minor variations”. Mr Aldous advised that any variations classed as minor could not impact on the four licensing objectives and could not involve any adjustment of licensed hours except to bring one activity into line with another. Cllr Peter Carey referred to paragraph 3.3 of the report, which states that “If an officer feels that there is any possibility that an application (if granted) could impact upon the objectives, then they must refuse the application. “ Cllr Carey asked for clarification and Mr Aldous stated that even the slightest hint that the licensing objectives may be affected would suffice for the officer to refuse. As there was no provision in the Licensing Act 2003 for members to hear applications for minor variations then a full application would have to be made in the event of such a refusal. Cllr Harmer referred members to the last two sentences of paragraph 3.1 of the report, which gave an assurance that officers of departments other than Licensing, ie Pollution Control, would be consulted if necessary. Cllr Ajmer Dhillon asked why ward Councillors could not be taken to visit the site. Mr Aldous advised that relevant officers were consulted and if, for example, the Pollution Control Team felt that noise nuisance would result from a minor variation if granted, then the Licensing Team would refuse the application and it would be brought before a Licensing Panel. Cllr Steve Curran stated that the proposal would reduce the workload on Licensing Panels and if problems arose the matter could be reviewed by the Licensing Committee in a year’s time.

 

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat expressed support for the recommendations but asked for assurance that officers from other teams were fully aware of the proposal and of the need to give a full response if consulted. Mr Aldous advised that all applications would be published on the Council’s website. Cllr Pam Fisher supported the suggestion that the matter be reviewed in 12 months’ time. Cllr Harmer moved that a request that a report be produced by the Licensing Team in 12 months time to allow the Licensing Committee to review the decision; Cllr Rajawat seconded the motion which was agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

  • That the Licensing Committee agreed to delegate the power to determine applications for minor variations to Premises Licences under the Licensing Act 2003 to the Assistant Director of Community Safety, Environment and Regulatory Services.

 

  • That a report on all applications and decisions made under the above delegated powers be produced in March 2015 to enable the Licensing Committee to review the decision after 12 months.

 

Moved by Cllr Matt Harmer, seconded by Cllr Shantanu Rajawat.

 

Voted for: Cllrs Peter Carey, Steve Curran, Ajmer Dhillon, Brad Fisher, Pam Fisher, Matt Harmer, Liz Mammatt, Shantanu Rajawat, Sohan Sangha, Corinna Smart and Balvir Sond.

 

Voted against: None.

 

Abstained: None.

 

 

15.

Street Trading (Delegation to Officers) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Minutes:

Please see the report by Lewis Aldous (agenda item 4).

 

The report was presented by Lewis Aldous.

 

Cllr Peter Carey referred to paragraph 3.4, which stated that “In serious circumstances an officer may choose to suspend the licence pending a revocation hearing” and asked for clarification. Mr Aldous advised that to be deemed sufficiently serious there would have to be a major infringement of the law with a risk to public safety if the trader were to continue. It would then be in the public interest to suspend the licence; a very rare occurrence but a possibility. Cllr Brad Fisher gave an example of an unlicensed trader selling balloons in the High Street where a nearby shopkeeper, who did hold a licence, claimed the trader represented him. Mr Aldous advised that if the trader was in breach of street trading licensing law he could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted as what he was doing was illegal but not necessarily a danger to public safety.

 

Cllr Liz Mammatt asked if the stated aim to make a decision within five days of the last date of representations would be written up as an obligation; while she approved, Cllr Mammatt also felt that it may not always be possible to meet the target. Mr Aldous agreed that the target was not an easy one but expressed confidence that it was achievable.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Licensing Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Assistant Director of Community Safety, Environment and Regulatory Services:

 

  • to grant a temporary licence or a street market (under the London Local Authorities Act 1990) as amended;

 

  • to grant a permanent street trading licence (renewable annually) under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 as amended;

 

  • to renew a permanent street trading licence under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 as amended

 

except where, due to exceptional or other circumstances, such matters will be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination through its Licensing Panel.

 

 

Moved by Cllr Matt Harmer, seconded by Cllr Shantanu Rajawat.

 

Voted for: Cllrs Peter Carey, Steve Curran, Ajmer Dhillon, Brad Fisher, Pam Fisher, Matt Harmer, Liz Mammatt, Shantanu Rajawat, Sohan Sangha, Corinna Smart and Balvir Sond.

 

Voted against: None.

 

Abstained: None.

 

 

 

16.

Street Trading (Fixed Penalty Notices) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

Please see the report by Lewis Aldous (agenda item 5).

 

Lewis Aldous presented the report.

 

Mr Aldous advised that the figures given in paragraph 3.4 were set centrally by London Councils and that all London local authorities who chose to levy Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) used the same levels. The Council had been unaware of the set levels in May 2011 when the Licensing Committee agreed its own levels and members were now asked to rectify that situation. Mr Aldous stated that the Licensing Team would do all in its power to identify and deter offenders; they would report back to the Licensing Committee in a year’s time.

 

Cllr Matt Harmer asked if the fines would change automatically if London Councils decided to amend them. Caroline Eaton, Principal Lawyer Litigation, advised that levels set by London Councils’ sub committee was binding on all Councils. Cllr Harmer, seconded by Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, asked for a mechanism for the Council to be kept informed of all such changes to be incorporated into any decision.

 

Cllr Rajawat asked if there was a process to appeal fines and Mr Aldous advised that traders could refuse to accept a FPN; if they did the Council could prosecute.  If found guilty in court the maximum fine was £1,000 and LB Hounslow would ask for its costs to be paid in full.  Cllr Steve Curran asked if officers could produce an annual report on the number of fines issued and Cllr Pam Fisher asked if a template or map could be produced to show the location of licensed pitches and sites.  Cllr Harmer seconded both requests and Mr Aldous agreed. Cllr Curran asked how the Council could regulate street markets, for example if traders were outside a designated market area. Ms Eaton advised that Brentford was technically not a designated area but each stall was individually licensed.

 

Members decided to agree the officers’ recommendation with the addition of the following requests: that the Council be notified of all amendments to  penalty levels made by London Councils which shall then apply to penalty levels set by Hounslow; that a report on the number of FPNs issued, fines paid and any prosecutions conducted be produced by the Licensing Team in 12 months time to allow the Licensing Committee to review the decision; and that a complete list of current street trading licences be compiled and made available to members on request.

 

 

Resolved:

 

That the Licensing Committee agreed:

 

  • to note the levels of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for street trading offences;

 

  • that the levels of FPNs for street trading offences issued by the London Borough of Hounslow shall be amended immediately that London Councils announce any change;

 

  • that a report on the number of FPNs issued, fines paid and any prosecutions conducted be produced by the Licensing Team in March 2015 to allow the Licensing Committee to review the decision; and

 

17.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

Cllr Brad Fisher asked if it were possible to ensure that licensees publicised Temporary Event notices (TENs). Lewis Aldous agreed that to do so would be good practice but officers had no means of legally enforcing the matter. Caroline Eaton advised that excessive noise constituted a public nuisance even if a TEN was in place and could be dealt with as such.