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

25.

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Linda Green and Adrian Lee.

 

26.

Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2014 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 31 March 2014 were agreed to be a true and accurate record and signed.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Item 18: Cllr Peter Carey referred to the statement on page 1 regarding the absence of a legal adviser at the meeting. “The clerk advised that if members felt that further legal advice was necessary on any matter then a decision could be made in principle and subsequently confirmed by Caroline Eaton, Head of Litigation; any legal issues arising would be referred back to the Committee.”  The clerk advised Members that there had been no legal issues following any decision made at the November meeting and so there had been nothing to refer back. Cllr Carey expressed the hope that a legal adviser would always be present at future meetings of the Licensing Committee. The Chair advised that future resourcing could not be guaranteed.

 

Item 19: Cllr Elizabeth Hughes asked for an update regarding access to a database of all licensed premises in the borough. She had obtained a spreadsheet but there was still no concise information available to members, officers or the public. Mr Aldous advised that introduction of the Salesforce system had been delayed. Once an internal system was running then a public access version could be set up. The Chair advised that he would lobby the relevant Cabinet Lead Member, Cllr Corinna Smart, to expedite the introduction of a suitable system. Cllr Richard Foote advised that Salesforce had not been abandoned but would be rewritten. A comprehensive database would greatly assist officers by enabling enforcement officers to know if, and how, a premises was licensed immediately rather than having to take time investigating. As a result they would only act when necessary. Cllr Tony Louki asked if a simpler system could be used and queried whether an elaborate IT system was needed for the task required. Cllr Foote stated that the system would be similar to that used by traffic enforcement officers and would enable all necessary information to be accessed almost immediately; it would be a great boon to officers.

 

Item 20: Cllr Carey asked if the vacancy for an enforcement officer had been filled in the New Year as stated in the first paragraph of the item (page 2). Mr Aldous advised that an officer had recently been appointed and would start on 29 June 2015.

27.

Annual Update and Policy Consideration pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the report and appendices (agenda item3)

 

The report, alongside the separate Cumulative Impact Study for Hounslow and North West Isleworth, was presented by Licensing Manager Lewis Aldous. The report was discussed in sections, the first pertaining to the proposal to adopt a special Licensing Policy (Cumulative Impact) for Hounslow and North West Isleworth (pages 10 to 19 of the agenda pack). Cllr Richard Foote, Cabinet Lead Member for Community Protection attended the meeting to discuss the Impact Study and proposed policy amendment.

 

Mr Aldous advised that the Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) would allow Licensing Panels to take into account representations from local residents to the effect that there were already too many licensed premises in an area, which the Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) did not otherwise recognise as a valid objection. The presumption in favour of granting an application embodied in the Act would be reversed and it would be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate that a licence would not add to existing problems, ie of street drinking and alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour (ASB) rather than for objectors to show that it would. This would prove difficult in practice. Mr Aldous asked the Committee to amend the Council’s Licensing Policy to include the CIP.

 

Cllr John Todd asked why the CIP would not apply borough wide but only to the area designated on the map (appendix 18). Mr Aldous advised that a working group had been established which worked with the police to plot areas with the highest rates of problems relating to licensed premises. They examined the police’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) data, noise complaints, ambulance call outs and many other records of both ASB/crime and health impacts caused by alcohol and found there was a much greater issue in the designated area than elsewhere in the borough. The proposed zone comprised 12% of the borough’s area but residents suffered 45.6% of all alcohol related illness, for example. A CIP required full and robust data to be justified and while officers had initially wanted to make the area larger the evidence was there for the area set out in appendix 18. As the CIP would essentially exist to make it easier for Panels to refuse licences there would inevitably be appeals and so a robust evidence based approach was essential to withstand court appeals. Cllr Foote stated that if an appeal was lost it could result in the policy being thrown out in its entirety. Cllr Tina Howe asked if the area could be extended at a later date. Mr Aldous advised that it could not; new areas would have to be established if required, using the same evidence based method.

 

Cllr Peter Carey asked for clarification of the term “saturated”. Mr Aldous advised that it was a term used in the guidance and did not have a precise definition; it was a subjective judgement that there were too many of a particular kind of licensed premise in a given area. A “given area”  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Urgent Business

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