Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, 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

11.

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Harleen Atwal Hear, Steve Curran, Mukesh Malhotra and John Todd.

12.

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2016 and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2016 were agreed to be an accurate record and signed.

13.

Street Trading Varied Fees pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Decision to determine varied fees and charges for street trading.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Please see the report plus appendices, including the representations from two traders, agenda item 3.

 

Licensing Manager Lewis Aldous presented the report. Following questions from members Mr Aldous advised that Hounslow had not increased the fees for three years and was cheaper than all neighbouring boroughs with the exception of Richmond on Thames. He acknowledged that 25% was a significant increase but stated that it still did not cover the shortfall. Officers believed that to do so would require an increase of 50%, which would be far too much to charge traders at a difficult time. However it was felt to be necessary to raise the fees by 25% at once due to the very large cut in grant from central government, making it essential for the service to recoup as much of its costs as possible. The fees would cover street trading only, not other forms of licence. There were relatively few stalls covered by the licences, most holders being cafes with pavement areas and displays in front of shops. The money was required for processing applications, site inspections and enforcements and was seen as “rent” for public highway use – there was no need for a licence to use private forecourts. The Council had only one Enforcement Officer and the Team did its best to ensure compliance with the licensing regime. Assistance was given by Hounslow Highways, who could deploy more staff and dealt with obstruction of highways.

 

Cllr Adrian Lee expressed concern for small traders, who he felt would be disproportionately affected. Questions were asked about whether enforcement against unlicensed displays was adequate and if the Council was getting value for the money given to Hounslow Highways. Mr Aldous advised that Licensing did the best they could to enforce with the resources available and stated that Hounslow Highways carried out a considerable amount of enforcement with regards to obstruction, also conducting prosecutions; six officers were made available for £128,000, enabling a significant amount of effective enforcement. Mr Aldous advised that the Council received very good value for the sum spent and invited Councillors to let him know of any unlicensed activity they may be aware of.

 

The Chair accepted a suggestion that more might be done to raise awareness of licensing enforcement matters, as had occurred with fly tipping and suggested the matter be part of a future agenda. Following further questions Mr Aldous advised that stands for free newspapers did not require street trading licences as nothing was being sold, however they were still subject to legislation preventing obstruction of the highway.

 

Mr David Lesniak, who had submitted a representation against the recommendations (please see page 15-16 of the agenda, appendix C), was permitted to address the meeting by the Chair.  Mr Lesniak stated that over the previous six months businesses had faced increased regulations, higher supply costs and a 50% increase in business rates; he was aware of at least 20 small businesses that had ceased trading in Chiswick alone. He felt that LBH  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

None.