Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee
Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: Sophie Butcher, Committee Officer. 01483 444056  Email: sophie.butcher@guildford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

L1

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Marsha Moseley and Nigel Manning.

L2

Local Code of Conduct - Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must notparticipate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

 

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest were declared.

L3

Minutes pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 25 March 2019.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 25 March 2019 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

L4

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Committee that the Licensing Team Leader would provide a short Licensing training session after the meeting for members.

L5

Licensing Policy for Activities Involving Animals pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Licensing Team Leader regarding a change to the way in which animal boarding establishments; dog breeding establishments, pet shops and riding establishments were licensed.  The change in law was implemented as of 1 October 2018 and from then the Council took on the responsibility for the licensing of the keeping of animals for exhibition. 

 

The threshold for breeding dogs had been reduced from five to three dogs and if you were operating as a commercial breeder, a licence was now required from the Local Authority.  Exhibiting animals was previously licensed by Surrey County Council, but now fell within the remit of Guildford Borough Council. The law change introduced a new term of a ‘fit and proper person’ to be a licence holder, which was the same term used with taxi licensing but had not previously been defined in animal welfare.  The Council therefore drafted a policy, which set defined criteria for what construed a suitable person to be granted an animal welfare licence. 

 

On 20 November 2018, the Licensing Committee approved a proposal for the draft animal welfare licensing policy to go to consultation for a period of 12-weeks between December 2018 and March 2019.  Seven interested parties responded including current licence holders and animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, PDSA and Dogs Trust.  Concerns raised in relation to the fees had not been considered owing to the fact that DEFRA set the fees and these were implemented by the Council.

 

The Committee noted that this was the first Licensing Policy to be devised in relation to activities involving animals since the new legislation was introduced.  The Committee discussed the policy and asked whether the response rate achieved to the consultation of seven was good.  The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that Guildford Borough Council had 50 licence holders who were all consulted.  In addition, the consultation was advertised on the website for three months.  Animal charities, the Police, vets, DEFRA, The Dogs Trust and Equine Charity had all responded and made helpful contributions to the final formulation of the policy.  The Committee were advised that licence holders’ ratings were not published on the Guildford Borough Council website and the public would need to request this information from officers.  In relation to safeguarding, the responsibility lay with the licence holder to comply with safeguarding requirements.  If licence holders failed to comply with the requirements of their licence, processes were in place whereby licences could be varied or revoked accordingly.  It was confirmed that dog wardens carried out the inspections of all premises currently but would need to be qualified to inspect premises by October 2021. 

 

The Committee having considered the report

 

RESOLVED

 

To approve the Animal Welfare Licensing Policy.

 

L6

Licensing Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted its work programme, which would be populated with additional topics.

 

The Committee received clarification on the term ‘Purple Flag’, which related to an award that recognised Guildford as a safe place to have a night out.  The awards were first held five years ago and Guildford was the only town in Surrey to hold the award.  ‘Best Bar None’ referred to a national scheme to promote high standards in pubs and bars.  Approximately 30-40 venues had entered the award this year. 

 

The Chairman recommended that premises site visits were arranged in the summer for Committee members to visit premises with Licensing Officers to obtain a better understanding of how premises operated within the context of licensing.