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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Lisa Pullin 

No. Item


Apologies and Substitutions

To receive any apologies and details of any substitutions.


Apologies were received from Cllr Trevor Carbin and from Mike Edgar (Senior Solicitor), Rebecca Wherlock (Principal Solicitor), Jason Salter (Head of Service – Passenger Transport) and DI Troy Smith.


Cllr Stewart Palmen was substituting for Cllr Trevor Carbin.


Cllr Sam Charleston had been appointed to Licensing Committee by Full Council on 21 February 2023 in place of Cllr Pip Ridout.



To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2022 (copy attached).

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2022 were presented to the Committee.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2022 be approved and signed as a correct record.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman.


The Chairman gave details of the fire exits to be used in the event of the alarm sounding and made the following announcements:


Cllr Pip Ridout


Thank you to Cllr Pip Ridout for her service to the Licensing Committee and welcome to Cllr Sam Charleston who will be taking up the seat.


King Charles III Coronation – May 2023


There had been an announcement that there would be a universal extension for all those with alcohol on their premises licence to be able to extend their opening hours on Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May in recognition of the Kings Coronation.


Declarations of Interest

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



There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on (Monday 27 February 2023) 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 1 March 2023). 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 Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


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


Licensing Appeals Update

To receive an update on any appeals lodged against Licensing Sub Committee decisions.


There were no known appeals pending.


Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) reported that there were no current Licensing Sub Committee hearings planned but there was quite a number of applications coming in across a whole range of licensable activities including new festivals for Wiltshire.


A Committee Member asked if there were any requests for a review hearing likely?  Linda Holland reported that there was nothing currently on the horizon that she was aware of.


Minutes of the Licensing Sub Committees

There have been no Licensing Sub Committee meetings since the last meeting on 5 December 2023.


There had been no Licensing Sub Committee hearings since the last meeting on 5 December 2022.


Update on Project Vigilant

DI Troy Smith from Wiltshire Police will attend the meeting to update the committee on Project Vigilant.


DI Troy Smith from Wiltshire Police was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting due to operational issues but had submitted a written update on Project which is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.


A Committee Member noted that the Project Vigilant only referred to females and stated that it was not only males that are perpetrators in these types of situations/offences and asked if there could be something included for other vulnerable people?


A Committee Member expressed their disappointment that the Police representative was unable to attend again and asked if this was the case again if someone could be sent in their place?




1.         That the Committee note the update on Project Vigilant attached as Appendix 1.


2.         That an update be requested to include what initiatives there were for vulnerable males.

Appendix 1 to the Minutes - Project Vigilant Update

Supporting documents:


Update from the Passenger Transport Team

Jason Salter (Head of Service – Passenger Transport) will give an update on behalf of the Passenger Transport Team at the meeting.


Jason Salter (Head of Service – Passenger Transport) was unable to attend the meeting but had prepared an update to be share at the meeting and this is detailed below:


The number of pupils who are not receiving home to school transport who are entitled is now zero, in the context of supply.  This doesn’t however mean that the supply issue has been resolved, as taxis from out of county are being used more prevalently, or we are using parents in an increased capacity.  The number of licensed taxi drivers remains at a constant, which is nowhere near where it needs to be to manage the growth in this area.


Due to the taxi market not growing in sufficient capacity, the decision has been made by the Passenger Transport Unit to lease vehicles and employ drivers directly in order to meet the growth.  As at 6 March 2023, there are currently nine vehicles deployed on home to school transport either owned or leased by Wiltshire Council.  Eight of those have been previously deployed through Larkrise school for many years, with one additional vehicle now being used into Silverwood, Rowde.  By the end of March 2023, it is expected that a further eight vehicles could be deployed, dependent upon the speed of which drivers receive suitable clearances.  Further work in the form of a business case will be completed to determine how many more vehicles and drivers will be required to be supplied by Wiltshire Council to meet the appropriate demand.  The market will continue to be tested in this area, through regular procurement, as it is not the desire for Wiltshire Council to provide its own services in this area, it is doing so because the market is unable to support the growth in demand.


Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) confirmed that driver numbers are growing and that Officers were currently contacting other Local Authorities to investigate the possibility of a new “schools only licence” and would report the findings back to the Committee in due course.


A Committee Member asked about the Council owned vehicles and their possible use outside of the morning and afternoon school runs, wondering if there was a wider community use that could be considered?  A Committee Member was aware of a responsive transport experience in Pewsey which could possibly be linked into?


A Committee Member was pleased to note that the immediate short term problem of transporting our SEND children to their education settings was solved and agreed that how the Council’s vehicle provision could be expanded to be more useful to the community could be explored and that it would be useful to understand what the long term plans are.


The Committee asked for an update to be provided to them following the meeting on the planned use of Council owned vehicles outside of the “school run” provision and on the anticipated shortfall for new pupils transport requirements from September 2023.


A Committee Member wished to pass on thanks to the Taxi  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Update from the Licensing Team

Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) will give an update/overview on behalf of the Licensing Team to the Committee, the update is attached.

Supporting documents:


Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) referred to the Licensing Team update circulated with the Agenda and highlighted the following:


·                Recently the Ask Angela campaign had proved particularly successful when a male said the phrase to bar staff in a Trowbridge licensed premises.  The staff understood what was required of them and kept the male safe until Police arrived to deal with the situation;


·                The “Safety at Night” Charter was a cross county initiative which was launched in Swindon and Wiltshire in November 2022 and seeks to proactively tackle the issue of safety within the night-time economy.  Currently 55 venues had signed up to the Charter and Officers were working hard to get more to sign up;


·                Following intelligence relating to potential illegal workers at licensed premises in Wiltshire, the Immigration Service had recently conducted a number of visits with several illegal workers being detained for not having the right to work in the UK.  The onus was not on the Licensing Team to ensure that staff have the right to work, but on the employer.


·                There had been an increase in the number of licensing applications in 2022 which was anticipated after Covid.  However, a number of licensed premises had closed and it was likely due to a number of factors including staffing pressures and the current economic climate.  2023 so far had seen a slight growth in applications with a few new wine bars and online sales of alcohol.


·                There had not been a huge number of enquiries to Licensing for premises wishing to celebrate the Kings Coronation.  There had been some TEN applications but not as many as for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.  The Government had announced that licensing hours for pubs, clubs and bars across the Kings Coronation weekend would be extended by two hours.  The extension from 11pm to 1am would cover the Friday 5 to Sunday 7 May 2023;


·                The Government has announced that a new Protect duty (Martyn’s Law) will place a requirement on those responsible for certain publicly accessible locations to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures. The legislation will ensure parties are prepared, ready to respond and know what to do in the event of an attack. Better protection will be delivered through enhanced security systems, staff training, and clearer processes.? This was still in the draft phase and more information would be shared with the Committee and Councillors when it was available.


·                The new rules introduced by the Gambling Commission which came into effect on 12 September 2022 seek to ensure that online gambling businesses do more to identify and take action to protect consumers at risk of harm;


·                Changes to the Film Classification process were agreed by the Committee in December 2022 and as requested an appeal against a classification process had been set up, the proposed changes to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation would be considered at the next Constitution Focus Group and then on to the Standards Committee.  The introduction of fees  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Update from the Taxi Licensing Team

Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) has prepared the attached Taxi Licensing update as at January 2023 and will give an overview to the Committee.

Supporting documents:


Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) referred to the Taxi Licensing update for January 2023 circulated with the Agenda and highlighted the following:


·                Driver and vehicle numbers had stabilised over 2022/23 following both showing month on month declines between 2020 and 2021. Drivers were reporting higher levels of business now the economy was beginning to recover.  The recent driver recruitment campaign had been successful and there was now a significant number of new driver applications (42 as at February 2023);


·                There were currently over 800 vehicles with a licence for the first time in two years which was an additional 55 licenced vehicles from July 2022.  However as heard earlier from the update on behalf of the Passenger Transport team the number of drivers was not rising quickly enough to keep up with the demand from Passenger Transport.  The Taxi Licensing Team had had some staffing issues so they were currently under pressure to process the new applications and there had been some issues with the quality of applications received with some not sending the required documentation etc;


·                The team were continuing to work on the introduction of a single licensing zone for hackney carriages in Wiltshire.  In order to do this the Council has to adopt Paragraph 25 – Schedule 14 of the Local Government Act 1972, and a report was being prepared for Full Council for this; and


·                There was generally a more positive outlook with the Taxi Licensing Team believing that the numbers were stabilising and had been improved following the work with the Passenger Transport Team on initiatives to encourage recruitment of new drivers in Wiltshire.  The vacancy within the team had been recruited to and it was hoped that they would soon be back up to full strength to be able to process all applications in a timely manner.


The Chairman asked if there was any update on the vehicle inspection provision.  Tom Ince reported that they could currently offer inspections in Devizes and Salisbury and that the move to centralised inspections twice a year to be in Devizes (with Salisbury as a possible back up) would form part of the resolution to move to the single licensing zone for Wiltshire.


A Committee Member asked about the presence of Uber in Wiltshire.  Tom Ince confirmed that Uber were not licensed in Wiltshire, however with pre bookings being taken they could obviously travel into Wiltshire to transport passengers.




That the Committee note the update on behalf of the Taxi Licensing Team.


Briefing Note on the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

The purpose of the briefing note which has been prepared by Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) is to inform the Licensing Committee of the current procedure with regard to issuing licences under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (DWA) and to advise the Committee of the revision of the conditions attached to licences from 1 September 2022to give more specific controls.

Supporting documents:


Linda Holland (Licensing Manager) referred to the briefing note circulated with the Agenda which sought to inform the Committee of the current procedure with regard to issuing licences under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and to advise of the revision of conditions attached to licences from 1 September 2022 to give more specific controls and highlighted the following:


·                There were currently 5 premises in Wiltshire who held a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.  Dangerous wild animals are identified in a schedule and anyone wishing to keep one of these animals requires a Licence issued by the Local Authority.  If the premises is open to the public over 7 days in a year, then it would be classed as a zoo and a different licence would be required;


·                Before granting a licence, an inspection is undertaken by the Licensing Officer and an appropriate competent veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner to ensure compliance with the legislation as the animals covered by the Act require extremely specialised care and accommodation. The licensing process ensures that both the animal's welfare and the safety of the keeper and the wider public will be protected; and


·                The revised conditions (as shown in Appendix 2 to the report) replaced the existing conditions on any licence granted or renewed from 1 September 2022 which gave more specific control in respect of DWA licensing and standardised the requirements for all licence holders and applicants.  Further conditions could be added at the request of the veterinary inspector specific to the premises and species kept.


A Committee Member asked if there was a register of the premises with a DWA licence?  Linda Holland confirmed that there was a register but this was obviously not a public register to ensure the safety of those animals.




That the Committee note the update on the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and the updated conditions on licences.


Refresher of Expectations and Roles/Responsibilities at Licensing Sub Committee hearings

The Chairman wishes to run through the expectations and roles/responsibilities at Licensing Sub Committee hearings as a refresher for Members and Officers.


This will cover:


·           Prior to the hearing

·           At the briefing

·           At the hearing

·           Making the determination

·           Following the hearing.


Officers had been asked to run through the expectations, roles and responsibilities at Licensing Sub Committee hearings as a refresher for Members and Officers.


Officers highlighted the following:


Prior to the hearing

·           Legal Officer to review the Licensing Officer’s report and the agenda documentation prior to despatch for accuracy and appropriate redaction

·           Committee Clerk to ensure that all parties to the hearing receive a copy of the Agenda and are aware of the meeting date, time and location


At the briefing

·           Licensing Officer to highlight the background to the application and the relevant matters to be considered

·           Legal Officer to also highlight possible relevant areas to explore at hearing and confirm what is/is not relevant to the application.  If required, give guidance on the acceptance or otherwise on late submissions of paperwork/evidence to the Sub Committee


At the hearing

·           Legal Officer to give any relevant guidance to the Sub Committee and clarify any issues.  Ensure that the hearing proceeds in line with the hearing procedure and that matters outside of the licensing remit are not discussed/considered.  Ensure that the due process is followed (with Committee Clerk) and that each party has been given a fair opportunity to share their views at the hearing

·           Licensing Officer to answer any technical questions


Making the determination

·           Legal Officer to guide the Sub Committee through the decision process, considering the evidence, giving any relevant legal advice and ensuring that any conditions are proportionate, reasonable and enforceable

·           Legal Officer to assist Committee Clerk with drafting of basic decision notice to be read out at the conclusion of the hearing (and if possible shared with parties to the hearing if required)


Following the hearing

·           Legal Officer to review the draft full decision notice prepared by the Committee Clerk and provide the reasoning for the decision

·           Committee Clerk to publish the Decision Notice within 5 working days

·           Committee Clerk to draft the minutes and send to Legal Officer to approve so that they can be published within 10 working days


Asifa Ashraf (Senior Solicitor) reported that she would be leaving the Council at the end of this week and that it was anticipated that Mike Edgar (Senior Solicitor) would be responsible for Licensing Committee and any Licensing Sub Committees.


Dates of Future Committee Meetings

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


19 June 2023

11 September 2023

4 December 2023.


Members noted the future meetings of the Licensing Committee, all to commence at 10.30am:


19 June 2023

11 September 2023

4 December 2023

4 March 2024.


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.


There were no urgent items.




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