Venue: Telephone Hearing - For meetings held through remote means of a teleconference, public access details for the teleconference can be obtained from the Officer whose details are below.
Contact: Debbie Bunce 01255 686573.
Election of Chairman for the Meeting
The Sub-Committee will elect its Chairman for the meeting.
It was moved by Councillor Henderson, seconded by Councillor Davis and:-
RESOLVED – That Councillor V Guglielmi be elected Chairman for the meeting.
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
There were no apologies for absence or substitutions.
To confirm as correct records, the minutes of the meetings of the Sub-Committee held on 28 February 2020 and 10 March 2020.
The minutes of the meetings of the Premises/Personal Licences Sub-Committees held on 28 February 2020 and 10 March 2020 were approved as a correct records.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were none.
The Sub-Committee will consider an application for the review of the Premises Licence held in respect of the above premises which has been submitted by Essex Police, being a Responsible Authority, under Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003.
The Chairman (Councillor V Guglielmi) welcomed everyone to the meeting and made introductory remarks.
The Council’s Licensing Manager (Karen Townshend) gave a verbal summary of the written report and advised that the Sub-Committee had before it, for its consideration as set out in item A.1 of the Report of the Corporate Director (Operations and Delivery), an application for the review of a Premises Licence in respect of Great Gurkha Restaurant.
Section 2.2 of the written report set out the proposed opening hours for the premises which were:
Sale of Alcohol on and off the premises
Monday to Thursday 12:00 - 23:30
Friday to Saturday 12:00 - 00:00
Sunday 12:00 - 23:30
Performance of Recorded Music
Monday to Thursday 12:00 - 23:30
Friday to Saturday 12:00 - 00:00
Sunday 12:00 - 23:30
Late Night Refreshment
Monday to Thursday 23:00 - 23:30
Friday to Saturday 23:00 - 00:00
Sunday 23:00 - 23:30
The opening hours of the premises
Monday to Thursday 12:00 - 00:00
Friday to Saturday 12:00 - 00:30
Sunday 12:00 - 00:00
Where the licence authorises supplies of alcohol whether these are on and/or off supplies
Supply of Alcohol both on and off the premises
Aishwarya Enterprises Ltd have been the Premises Licence holder since the licence was transferred on 13 November 2019, and Miss Mithula Varatharasa has been the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) of the restaurant since 13 November 2019.
An application for the Review of the Premises Licence for the Great Gurkha Restaurant had been submitted by Essex Police. This had been received by the Licensing Authority on 6 February 2020 on the grounds that the Licensing Objective in respect of the Prevention of Crime and Disorder had been breached; as the Premises Licence holder Aishwarya Enterprise Ltd and DPS Miss Mithula Varatharasa had been found by the East of England Immigration Enforcement team on 10 January 2020 to be employing persons who had no right to work or stay in the United Kingdom.
In summary, the Review application and its accompanying supporting documents advised and contained the following:
· Home Office guidance on right to work checks
· Home Officer Letter of support.
· A Section 9 witness statement from PC Southgate regarding police visit on 25 February 2019.
· A Section 9 witness statement from Licensing Officer Moody regarding immigration visit on 10 January 2020.
· A Section 9 witness statement from Immigration Officer Gear regarding immigration visit on 10 January 2020.
· A Section 9 witness statement from Licensing Officer Moody regarding a meeting with Mithula Varatharasa on 29 January 2020.
· Extracts from company registration application for Aishwarya Enterprises Ltd.
A copy of the Premises Licence Review application and all of the documents referred to in the bullet points above were attached to the report in full.
Notice of the review application had been made and advertised in accordance with Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003 and the regulations that accompany it. In particular, a notice detailing the review application had been clearly displayed on the premises concerned and on ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
Exclusion of Press and Public
During the Hearing the Sub-Committee, accompanied by the Council’s Solicitor, will need to retire and deliberate and reach its decision.
At that point the Sub-Committee will be asked to pass the following resolution:
“That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting/hearing during the period of time when it is deliberating and reaching its decision on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.”
It was moved by and seconded, and:-
RESOLVED - “That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting/hearing during the period of time when it is deliberating and reaching its decision on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.”
Report of Acting Corporate Director (Operations and Delivery) A.1 - Application for the Review of a Premises Licence - Great Gurkha Restaurant, 126 Old Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
After its deliberations the Sub-Committee and the Council’s Solicitor will return to the meeting (and the interested parties and public will be re-admitted) in order for the Chairman to formally announce the Sub-Committee’s decision following its review of the Premises Licence held in respect of the Great Gurkha Restaurant, 126 Old Road, Clacton-on-Sea.
Following its deliberations, the Sub-Committee, Council’s Solicitor and Legal and Governance Administration Officer then returned to the meeting and Essex Police and the Immigration Officer were invited to rejoin the meeting. The Council’s Solicitor confirmed that she had not provided any specific legal advice to the Sub-Committee whilst it was making its decision
The Chairman of the Sub-Committee then read out the following decision:
“LICENSING ACT 2003 - APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF PREMISES LICENCE - GREAT GURKHA RESTAURANT, 126 OLD ROAD, CLACTON ON SEA, ESSEX
The Sub-Committee has given careful consideration to this application for a review and to the actual representations received from Essex Police on the grounds that the Licensing Objective in respect of the prevention of crime and disorder had been breached for the reasons set out in their representations.
The Licensing Objective for the Prevention of Crime and Disorder has been breached.
In making their decision, the Sub-Committee have taken into account:-
(i) relevant matters set out in the Licensing Authority's own Statement of Licensing Policy;
(ii) the relevant parts of the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
(iii) the range of powers provided to Licensing Authorities by the Licensing Act 2003 in determining a Review;
(iv) Any legal advice given by the Council's Solicitor.
The Sub-Committee are also aware that it must act to promote the Licensing Objectives as set out in the Licensing Act 2003 and that any decision it took in determining a Review must be necessary for the promotion of these objectives.
The decision of the Sub-Committee is as follows:-
1. In respect of the application for the Review of a Premises Licence submitted by Essex Police in respect of the premises known as Great Gurkha Restaurant, 126 Old Road, Clacton on Sea, Essex, the Sub-Committee's decision is to revoke the Licence.
2. It has been determined that the Licence must be revoked for the following reason[s]:-
The committee note that this is not the first time, even in the last 12 months, that these premises have come to the attention of the police and immigration authorities, and has been found to be employing multiple illegal workers on two separate occasions in that 12 month period, and despite being issued a formal warning previously.
In addition it is noted that despite changes in names at, for example, Companies House the operational management of the premises has remained the same throughout the time since these premises first came to the attention of the police and/or immigration authorities.
Further following the first such visit the police and/or immigration authorities provided education and advice, advice that it appears has still not been followed as on this occasion, as on previous occasions, the paperwork that is required to be kept was again unable to be provided including for example photocopies of passports, bank statements, and similar documentation. The immigration officer was able to advise the committee how simple it was for any business to apply to the government for a right to work check ... view the full minutes text for item 24.