Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Wednesday, 25th September, 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

Media

Items
No. Item

L7

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Joss Bigmore, Graham Eyre, Nigel Manning, Marsha Moseley and Catherine Young.

L8

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.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests.

L9

Minutes pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 29 May 2019.

 

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Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 29 May 2019 were confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

L10

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee.

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Minutes:

There were no announcements other than those relating to the fire alarm, webcasting and mobile telephones.

L11

Taxi and Private Hire Enforcement - Delegations for Surrey Joint Warranting pdf icon PDF 233 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which sought approval for the arrangements between the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities to introduce joint warranting for licensing officers to enable improved enforcement of the taxi and private hire trade across the County.  This required Council delegation of the taxi and private hire enforcement functions under the relevant legislation, set out in Appendix A to the report, to the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities in addition to retaining those functions within the Borough.  Similarly, the Council would receive the delegated enforcement functions from those local authorities to be delegated to the Regulatory Services Manager.

 

The joint warranting arrangements would not restrict the passage of vehicles into other Boroughs and enabled officers of this Borough to enforce against taxi and private hire vehicles and drivers licensed by other boroughs.  Commencement of the joint warranting arrangements in April 2020 was envisaged.

 

Although licensing reforms were anticipated along the lines of joint warranting, none had been introduced by the Government to date.  The Committee welcomed the development of similar arrangements with neighbouring local authorities in other counties such as Rushmoor.

 

It was reported that Uber, the private hire application-based taxi hailing service which utilised electronic payment, created some issues in Guildford.  Uber cars operating in the south-east of England were licensed by Transport for London (TfL) and there was no local control over them.  TfL was being approached regarding enforcement issues and standards which were lower than those required by the Council in areas including driver safeguarding training.  The Council did not receive any income from Uber cars as they were not licenced in the Borough.  A task and finish group which had considered the taxi and private hire trade last year had concluded that journeys should either commence or conclude in the licenced district.  Uber was also a growing issue for the local taxi and private hire trade and Councillors were advised that any related enquiries, issues or complaints should be reported to the Licensing Team Leader to enable them to be addressed through the correct channels.

 

The Committee having considered the report

 

RESOLVED

 

To recommend to Full Council the delegation of the Taxi and Private Hire enforcement functions under the legislation set out in Appendix A of the report to the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities (as set out in Appendix A), in addition to retaining those functions within the Borough.  Similarly, that the Council receive the delegated Taxi and Private Hire enforcement functions (as set out in Appendix A) from those local authorities, to be delegated to the Regulatory Services Manager.

 

The reason for the recommendation was to improve safety within the licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicle service operating in Surrey.

L12

Purple Flag Verbal Update

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Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update in respect of the Purple Flag standard which had been awarded to Guildford town centre for the sixth consecutive year.  The award was launched in 2012 and recognised towns for providing evenings and nights out that were safe, vibrant and varied.  Guildford remained the only town in the county and was one of around 70 in the UK to hold the award.  The Guildford Town Purple Flag Partnership Group was led by the Council and Experience Guildford (the town’s Business Improvement District) and included a broad range of town and county organisations including Surrey Police, the Safer Guildford Partnership, Street Angels and Guildford Pub Watch.  The Purple Flag accreditation was similar to Blue Flags for beaches and Green Flags for parks and countryside.

 

L12a

Best Bar None Verbal Update

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Minutes:

The Licensing Team Leader reported that Best Bar None was an accreditation scheme with national awards supported by the Home Office and the drinks industry which was aimed primarily at promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises.  The Scheme had been launched in 2013 and was operated locally by Experience Guildford.  Each venue which entered the awards was assessed and judged against assessment criteria including prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.  An awards ceremony was held at the Electric Theatre where awards in the eight key categories represented were presented to the Anchor and Horseshoes, The Britannia, The Boileroom, The Long Bar, Rubix, Popworld, Positano and TGI Fridays.  Popworld won the overall Best Bar None Award.  The Committee congratulated all the venues which had won awards.

L13

Taxi and Private Hire Driver Safeguarding Training Verbal Update

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Minutes:

A verbal update in respect of safeguarding training for taxi and private hire drivers was provided.  It was reported that, at its meeting held on 7 February 2018, the Council had approved the requirement for all existing taxi and private hire drivers to undertake mandatory Child Sexual Exploitation training by 1 May 2019 and for all new drivers to undertake the training from 11 April 2018.  The Council worked in partnership with the Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board in this area and an associated e-learning page was provided by Dr Barnado’s.  The training was provided at no cost to the drivers.  54 drivers had been suspended for failing to undertake the training and currently 16 further drivers were due to receive it.

L14

Licensing Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 216 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee was invited to review and approve its current work programme for the remainder of the 2019-20 municipal year.  Reference was made to the numerous licensing policies which were reported to the Committee.  It was noted that the Licensing Policy was reviewed on a five year basis and the next review was due in 2020 whilst the Gambling Policy was subject to a three year review cycle and would next be reviewed in 2021.  Other policies, such as those relating to street collection, street trading and sexual entertainment establishments, were reviewed in line with best practice on a three to five year basis.