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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Online meeting

Contact: Lisa Pullin 

Media

Items
No. Item

20.

Apologies/Substitutions/Membership Changes

To receive any apologies and details of any substitutions.

 

To note any changes to Committee membership.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Mike Hewitt and Ian Thorn.

21.

Minutes

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2020 (copy attached).

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2020 were presented to the Committee.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the meetings held on 7 September 2020 be approved and signed as a correct record.

22.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman.

Minutes:

As this was the last meeting of the Committee before the Elections in May, the Chairman wished to thank all Members for their attendance at meetings and Sub Committees and all Officers for their support.

 

23.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

24.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.  During the

ongoing Covid-19 situation the Council is operating revised procedures and the public are able participate in meetings online after registering with the officer named on this agenda, and in accordance with the deadlines below.

 

Guidance on how to participate in this meeting online.  ADD LINK HERE!

 

Statements

Members of the public who wish to submit a statement in relation to an item on this agenda should submit this is electronically to the officer named on this

agenda no later than 5pm on Thursday 25 February 2021.

 

You must state whom the statement is from (including if representing another person or organisation), state points clearly and be readable aloud in approximately 3 minutes. Up to three speakers are allowed for each item on the agenda.

 

Questions

 

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such

questions electronically to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Monday 22 February 2021 in order to be guaranteed of a written response.

 

In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Wednesday 24 February 2021.

 

Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice.

 

Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent. Details of any questions received will be circulated to members prior to the meeting and made available

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted to the Committee from the public prior to the meeting.

 

Mr Martin Thomas was present to make a statement in relation to Agenda item 7 (Proposed Changes to Wiltshire Council’s Street Trading Consent Scheme).  Mr Thomas spoke in his capacity as chair of the Management Committee of Tisbury Community Benefit Society:

·         The Tisbury Community Benefit Society support the proposal to make changes to the Council’s Street Trading Consent Scheme;

 

·         There had been positive engagement with Council Officers (Tom Ince and Tracy Morris for which they were very grateful) to enable them to progress their initiative - “Tis the Future” which was a community-owned, community-run, mobile, electric, zero-waste, no plastic, refill shop.  Street Trading Consent licences for pitches in Tisbury, Semley and Dinton had already been granted;

 

·         They intended to apply for more consents to allow them to establish a schedule of visits to every community in the Tisbury area over time.   They had written to 25 parish councils and village shops, seeking an invitation to visit their communities.  The responses received to date had been very positive with the areas confirming that they would wish for them to trade in their areas; and

 

·         The initial problem for them had been that the Council’s current Street Trading Consents are based on the primary assumption that they would be trading from one pitch but their business was one that would be moving around – the current scheme was not aimed at their type of operation.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Thomas for his comments, particularly the praise around the engagement of the Council Officers which he would ensure was passed back to the teams involved.

 

Mr Paul Rae who as also present at the meeting was invited to add any comments:

 

·         He reported that he was in support of what Mr Thomas has already stated thought that the news that the communities they aspired to trade were interested was very positive. They had had their first trading session in Tisbury at the weekend which was a great success, helped by the good weather and it was a joy to see the reaction of people with what they were doing.

25.

Minutes of the Licensing Sub Committees

To receive and sign the minutes of the following Licensing Sub Committees:

 

Southern Area Licensing Sub Committee

 

20.01.2020    Application by Keystone Entertainment Ltdfor a Variation to the Premises Licence at The Bank Cocktail Lounge & Events, 18 High Street, Amesbury – to follow.

 

Western Area Licensing Sub Committee

 

04.08.2020    Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence - The White Hart, Lane End, Corsley, Warminster.

 

19.08.2020    Application for a Premises Licence - Wicker Hill Food Stores, 1b Wicker Hill, Trowbridge.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Southern Area

 

20/01/20         Application by Keystone Entertainment Ltd for a Variation to the                   Premises Licence at The Bank Cocktail Lounge & Events, 18 High                    Street, Amesbury (Circulated within Agenda supplement 1)

 

Western Area Licensing

 

04/08/20         Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence – The White                       Hart, Lane End, Corsley, Warminster

 

19/08/20         Application for a Premises Licence – Wicker Hill Food Stores, 1b                  Wicker Hill, Trowbridge

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Sub Committee meetings detailed above be approved and signed as correct records by the Chairman.

26.

Proposed Changes to Wiltshire Council's Street Trading Consent Scheme

The report of Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) seeks to provide the Licensing Committee with the relevant information to make an informed decision on the proposed changes to Wiltshire Councils approved Street Trading Consent Scheme.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) referred to his report which sought to provide the Licensing Committee with the relevant information to make a decision on the proposed changes to Wiltshire Councils approved Street Trading Consent Scheme. Tom highlighted the following:

 

·                The current Street Trading Consent Scheme did not currently accommodate those wishing to operate on a round, trading at multiple locations for more than 15 minutes within a single day/week, such as ice cream sellers and village fish and chip rounds;

 

·                Officers had researched how other local authorities operate street trading and they had identified four authorities were operating short term static consents or mobile consents that allowed traders to trade in multiple locations for more than 15 minutes or a single location for a reduced time and rate, allowing traders to apply cost effectively for multiple locations.  Advice had also previously been taken from the Council’s legal team in 2012 on whether a multiple site consent could be offered;

 

·                The proposed changes to the scheme would enable the Council to formalise the arrangements for these types of sellers who may be currently trading on Council land and not currently paying a fee and create a level playing field for traders.  The second proposed change is to introduce a short-term static consent that would allow traders to trade from a set location for up to 2 days per week for up to 4 hours per day for a reduced fee; and

 

·                Every effort was made to help support traders and there was the ability to set up a monthly payment plan to pay for the fees.

 

The following questions were asked by the Committee:

 

Q         How would Officers establish which traders from outside of the Wiltshire area that come in to trade within Wiltshire would comply with the new proposed scheme? 

 

A         Officers will approach known ice cream van traders to inform them of the proposed changes and they would also contact the neighbouring authorities to inform them of our changes and ask them to notify their known traders.  The Council were reliant on the other authorities responding to them, but they would also look to use Council Officers whilst out and about on their business to check with any vendors they see that they have the appropriate consents in place.  The Council would also often hear from existing traders if a new trader appeared and did not have the appropriate consent, once in place the scheme becomes self-policing.

 

Q         If the changes to the Street Trading Scheme were to be agreed, how often would a consent be reviewed?

 

A         A consent would roll over (subject to payment of the annual fee) unless any queries or complaints were received about that trader.  If any complaints were received Officers would aim to work with the trader and complainant to attempt to find a solution and if the concerns could not be addressed, then the consent could be revoked.

 

Q         My concern is about the knock-on effect on current traders, you are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Taxi Licensing Update

Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) has prepared the attached Taxi Licensing update for the Committee.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) referred to the Taxi Licensing update that was circulated with the Agenda and highlighted the following:

 

·         The taxi industry had been severely affected by Covid with driver and vehicle numbers continuing to fall.  Following the announcement of the third lockdown on 4 January 2021 all face to face appointments for new drivers were suspended until 22 February.  The team devised Covid secure processes for both driver and vehicle licensing renewals to continue unchanged, so as to minimise the impact on drivers and vehicle owners but firms were being doubly hit as Officers were not able to licence new drivers at the present time.   Officers would ensure that those new drivers currently waiting to be processed would be given priority appointments once the restrictions were eased, hopefully from 12 April 2021;

 

·         As at the end of January 2021 there were 793 hackney carriage drivers and 165 private hire drivers.  These numbers dropped again in February by a further 10.  It would seem that it is hackney carriage drivers that are leaving the industry (as these would sit at the rank to wait for customers).  Private hire vehicles are pre-booked.  Private hire numbers were relatively stable;

 

·         The drop in driver numbers had impacted the Council’s Passenger Transport Unit who co-ordinate the 700 school transport contracts.  When vehicle numbers are down to 800 potentially that will have an impact on availability of drivers/vehicles to fulfil the journeys.  However, Officers from both teams meet regularly to ensure those contracts are not negatively impacted.

 

·         Officers were still carrying out enforcement work but encountering some resistance from drivers.  Following the increased enforcement since October 2019 a greater number of penalty points and formal notices had been issued.  During January 2021, the team issued penalty points on 23 occasions – the highest monthly total, as well as undertaking drive by inspections within Wiltshire towns to identify potential issues.  11 vehicles were found not to have an MOT, although it was accepted that some of these vehicles were not being used and drivers had forgotten to get the required 6 monthly MOT;

 

·         In the South of the County there were issues reported of there being too many taxis in the centre of Salisbury as a result of the lack of passing trade and there being little or no need for airport/hotel journeys.  Some drivers had been parking inappropriately on double yellow lines or in loading bays and this was being challenged by those in the area and Officers were carrying out enforcement to rectify this;

 

A Committee member asked about the drivers having vehicles without an MOT and asked if it was because they were not using the vehicle or that they were unable to have a test carried out in the lockdowns?  Tom Ince explained that there had been a leeway to extend MOT’s during the first lockdown in 2020, but this had since changed, and MOTS were able to be carried out.  It was a requirement for taxis to have an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Licensing Update

Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) will provide a verbal update to the Panel on behalf of the Licensing Team.

Minutes:

Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) gave a verbal update to the Committee on behalf of the Licensing team and highlighted the following:

 

·         2020 had posed significant challenges to the Licensing Team and businesses and this had continued into 2021.  Workloads were unsustainably high during many months and this trend would continue on the re-opening of the economy;

 

·         The stop start nature of last year and having to be directed by restrictions, numerous regulations and guidance documents had impacted all of the businesses that the Council licence;

 

·         From July 2020 when the hospitality industry reopened, businesses had to adapt to the new ways of working and comply with restrictions that they did not understand and Officers had the task of understanding all of the changes to be able to relay the information to the trade on what they could and could not do.  It had been very difficult with the constant changes to the guidance – It had been a challenge for all, and the industry did an amazing job to get back on their feet;

 

·         Officers had also carried out visits to premises, particularly ones that had raised concerns with non-compliance of the regulations; these visits would continue when restrictions have lifted to ensure compliance for the safety of the all;

 

·         There had been good partnership working with Public Protection managers attending meetings 3 times a week with Police colleagues to ensure that there was collaborative working to address Covid concerns and complaints relating to businesses in Wiltshire.  The partnership working had been a learning curve but had proved to be a huge success with Officers being able to spread the workload so that not all were having to go out to the same premises – so that the licencees get good service from us to ensure that the public are safe;

 

·         During the first 2 weekend re-openings in July 2020, the Licensing Team was supported by colleagues from Public Protection in conjunction with the Police to carry out visits to over 300 premises to engage with and address any issues.  Only a handful were found to be struggling with compliance.  This would be a challenge again in April this year as businesses re-opened as they desperately try to build up their businesses again.  However, sometimes the public don’t always want to do what they should with their behaviour being challenging for the premises to manage;

 

·         Once the reopening’s were confirmed, Officers would be able to plan their response working in conjunction with the Police. Initially venues were only able to open to patrons outside and noise disturbance to residents may be one of the issues to address;

 

·         Wiltshire Police, and the local authorities had been operating the 4 E’s – Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce, but as the pandemic has continued, the Licensing Team had moved into the 4th E for serious breaches or where previous engagement has taken place.  New tools then became available and Officers were able to issue Improvement Notices and Covid Restriction Notices.  Following a Police  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Dates of Future Committee Meetings

Members are asked to note the future meetings of the Licensing Committee, all to commence at 10.30am:

 

7 June 2021

13 September 2021

6 December 2021

7 March 2022.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Committee would be held on 7 June 2021 at 10.30am.  Depending on what training was to be provided as part of the corporate induction, the next meeting may also include some specific Committee training.

 

30.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which in the opinion of the Chairman, should be taken as a matter of urgency. Urgent items of a confidential nature may be considered under Part II of this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

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