Agenda item

Update on behalf of 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.


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


  • Whilst the team had been very busy over the summer, there had been no significant incidents.  Officers were however, receiving complaints and concerns being expressed about licensable activities, music events and noise from licenced premises;


  • Advice was being given to premises in light of the forthcoming football World Cup on how to manage customers and those that may need to use Temporary Event Notices (TENS) to ensure they can stay open for other festive events over the Christmas and new year period;


  • Other concerns were also being raised by residents related to parking and the Noise Team were involved with noise complaints having advise on management of noise breakout from some premises;


  • Animal licensing continues to be busy, and they were just coming to the end of the 3 year licence for some premises and so there would be the next round of renewals taking place;


  • A briefing report would be brought to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to update the members on the revisions made to licence conditions that are applied to premises holding Dangerous Wild Animal licences.


  • A report would also be brought to seek to modify the procedure for film classifications.  Currently when a film does not have a classification these have to be classified by a Sub Committee,  Officers are seeking the views of the Committee today as to whether they would agree that this could be delegated to Officers with any appeal of the decision being referred to the Licensing Sub Committee;


After a brief discussion it was agreed that the Committee would be happy to receive a report which sought agreement to delegate the classification of films to Officers, with an appeals process to the Licensing Sub Committee if the Applicant did not agree with the classification.  Linda Holland confirmed that she would bring a report to the next meeting of the Committee on 5 December 2022.


The Chairman suggested that following the problems that were being reported by residents in relation to some premises with noise and parking etc that it might be a good idea to recirculate the Statement of Licensing Policy and to encourage Applicants to work with their town/parish Councils and local community groups when they were making an application to keep them informed of the plans and to reassure what measures they would be taking to address any potential problems.  Linda Holland stated that this could be done and that they were also looking at reviewing their “guide to licensees” document that could be shared with those concerned.


The Vice Chair thanked acknowledged the amount of work done by the small team and wished to thank them for all that they do.  She noted that there was now a distinct lack of tolerance for premises that create problems for their local neighbours and that following Covid and the leeway that was given they are no longer tolerant and that would be the reason for the increase in complaints.  She thanked Linda Holland for the TEN briefing note that had been prepared and would be shared via the Area Boards and suggested there could be further briefing notes to explain about licencing and seek to educate people (via Town/Parish Councils, Area Boards and social media) that if they live in the vicinity of a premises they cannot expect there to be a silent environment but give advice on the course of action to take if they do experience problems.


A Committee member asked about the unsustainable high workloads reported in the update and whether these high workloads were continuing?  Linda Holland reported that their workloads fluctuate and at the current time they were struggling to recruit to a Technical Support Officer post, one Licensing Officer was on maternity leave, and another would be leaving at the end of the year.  However, they were currently just about managing to keep up with the workloads which were demand led.  There was a new computer system hopefully being introduced at some point next year which would see another member of staff being taken to lead on the licensing requirements, so may have to consider what may need to be set aside and what work is prioritised for the team.


The Chairman wished to pass on his thanks on behalf of the Committee to all staff and felt that information sharing is good for early engagement, particularly about national events and reminded to use Area Boards, and Town and Parish Council forms to avoid last minute applications for events.


Resolved:  That the Committee notes the update on behalf of the Public Protection (Licensing) Team.


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