Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room - Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE

Contact: Bethany Jones Email:  democraticservices@tendringdc.gov.uk or Telephone  01255 68 6587

Items
No. Item

23.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were given from Councillors Codling and Kotz (with no substitutes). It was also noted that Councillor Land was not in attendance for this meeting.

24.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on Monday, 16 October 2023.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor A Cossens and:-

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on Monday, 16 October 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

25.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests of Non-Registerable Interests, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Smith declared for the public record for transparency that he was a London Taxi driver but that he had no ties in that capacity to the District of Tendring.

26.

Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38

Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.

Minutes:

On this occasion no Councillor had submitted a notice of a question.

27.

Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The Committee will formally receive and note, for its information only, the minutes of the meeting of the Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee held on Monday, 11 December 2023.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor A Cossens and:-

 

RESOLVED that the Committee formally received and noted, for its information only, the Minutes of the meeting of the Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee held on Monday, 11 December 2023.

28.

Premises/Personal Licences Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 68 KB

The Committee will formally receive and note, for its information only, the minutes of the Premises/Personal Licences Sub-Committee meetings held on Monday, 13 November 2023, Friday, 17 November 2023 and Friday, 24 November 2023.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Wiggins, seconded by Councillor Thompson and:-

 

RESOLVED that the Committee formally received and noted, for its information only, the Minutes of the meetings of the Premises and Personal Licences Sub-Committee held on Monday, 13 November 2023, Friday, 17 November 2023 and Friday, 24 November 2023.

29.

Report of the Director (Operations & Delivery) - A.1 - Proposed Fees and Charges for Caravan Site Licensing - Housing & Environment pdf icon PDF 394 KB

To seek the Licensing Committee’s concurrence to the proposed schedule of fees and charges 2024/25 for Operations & Delivery/Housing & Environment.

Minutes:

The Committee was told that the Officer report set out the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 for Operations & Delivery / Housing & Environment. They continued to be considered against a number of key principles that formed part of the long-term financial forecast approach and which were summarised later in the report.

 

It was reported to the Committee that any amendments to income budgets that were required to reflect changes to fees and charges would be included in the detailed budget proposals for 2024/25 that would be considered by Cabinet/Full Council as appropriate.

 

Officers informed Members that, in respect of Full Council, the individual decisions agreeing the fees and charges would be collated and presented as part of the overall budget setting process for 2024/25.

 

Members were further informed that the Officer report set out the proposed fees and charges for the 2024/25 Licensing of Residential Parks (protected sites) and for charging fees as part of the Council’s inspection regime in accordance with the legislation.

 

The Committee heard that the proposed fees and charges associated with licensing of Residential Sites (relevant protected sites) had been increased using the projected rate of inflation for the next financial year, and approval was sought to better reflect cost recovery in relation to the administration of the licensing areas concerned. It was proposed that the amended fees and charges would take effect from 1 April 2024.

 

Members were finally informed that the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 along with fees and charges for 2023/24 were set out within Appendix A of the Officer report.

 

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor Thompson and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25, as set out in column B of Appendix A to item A.1 of the report of the Corporate Director (Operations & Delivery), be approved with effect from April 2024; and,

 

2)    the Assistant Director for Housing & Environment be authorised to publish The Mobile Homes (Residential Protected Sites) fees and charges in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions.

30.

Report of the Director (Operations & Delivery) - A.2 - Operations & Delivery/Housing & Environment - Proposed Fees & Charges for Animal & Beauty Licensing 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To seek the Licensing & Registration Committee’s concurrence to the proposed schedule of fees and charges 2024/25 for Operations & Delivery/Housing & Environment – Animal Licensing & Beauty Treatment Licensing.

Minutes:

The Committee was told that the Officer report set out the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 for Operations & Delivery / Housing & Environment. They continued to be considered against a number of key principles that formed part of the long term financial forecast approach and which were summarised later on in the Officer report.

 

Members heard that any amendments to income budgets that were required to reflect changes to fees and charges would be included in detailed budget proposals for 2024/25 that would be considered by Cabinet / Full Council, as appropriate.

 

The Committee was informed that in respect of Full Council, the individual decisions agreeing fees and charges would be collated and presented as part of the overall budget setting process for 2024/25.

 

Officers also told Members that the Officer report set out the current schedule of fees and charges and presented for them for approval along with the proposed fees and charges to take effect from April 2024.

 

Members finally heard that the fees and charges payable for applications were within the remit of the Committee and, where a discretion existed, it was proposed that an increase be approved to better reflect cost recovery in relation to the administration of the licensing areas concerned. The proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 along with fees and charges for 2023/24 were set out within Appendix A of the Officer report.

 

It was moved by Councillor Casey, seconded by Councillor Davidson and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the Schedule of Fees and Charges 2024/25 for Operations & Delivery / Housing & Environment, as set out in Appendix A to item A.2 of the report of the Corporate Director (Operations & Delivery), be agreed;

 

2)    the current fees and charges in place since April 2023 be as set out in column A of the aforementioned Appendix A;

 

3)    the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25, as set out in column B of Appendix A be approved with effect from April 2024; and

 

4)    the Assistant Director for Housing & Environment be authorised to publish the Animal and Beauty Treatment Licensing fees in accordance with relevant legislative provisions.

31.

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive - A.3 - Proposed Licensing Fees and Charges for 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To seek the Committee’s approval to a schedule of fees and charges 2024/25 for licensing application etc within the responsibility of the Democratic Services and Elections, Governance – Licensing Section. The current fees and charges and proposals for fees and charges in 2024/25 are set out in Appendix A of the Officer report. Appendix A sets out those licensing fees where the Council has discretion over the level of fee, those where the Council must charge a nationally prescribed fee and those where the chargeable fee is subject to a nationally prescribed maximum.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was told that the Officer report set out the proposed fees and charges for 2024/25 for licensing applications etc within the responsibility of the Democratic Services and Elections, Governance – Licensing Section. They were contained within Appendix A of the Officer report.

 

Members heard that any amendments to income budgets that were required to reflect changes to fees and charges would be included in the detailed budget proposals for 2024/25 that would be considered by Cabinet/Full Council, as appropriate.

 

The Committee was informed that, the Council would need to demonstrate that the fees it charged for such licences had been set in accordance with the law and best practice, so as to recover its allowable costs in administrating the various licensing regimes for which it was responsible.

 

Officers told Members that, fees should be set so as to avoid either a surplus or a subsidy where possible and be adjusted, if necessary, in succeeding years to achieve and maintain the correct balance.

 

Members finally heard that the Officer report set out the revised fees and charges for licences and associated items which it was proposed to take effect from April 2024.

 

It was moved by Councillor Thompson, seconded by Councillor A Cossens and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the proposed licensing fees and charges, as set out in Appendix A of the Officer report (A.3) be approved with effect from April 2024 (Note: this  resolution only applied to those fees and charges where the Council had the discretion to determine the said fee);

 

2)    the Licensing Manager be authorised to publish the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing fees in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions; and,

 

3)    further to 2) above, the Head of Democratic Services and Elections be authorised to consider any objections received and to determine the final fees payable in consultation with the Chairman (or failing her the Vice-Chairman) of the Licensing and Registration Committee.

32.

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive - A.4 - Government Best Practice Guidance to Licensing Authorities Update - This Council's Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 272 KB

This item is to advice the Committee that Cabinet approved the comprehensive and cohesive licensing policy for Taxi and Private Hire Services recommended by this Committee and to advise it that, since the adoption of that licensing policy, the Government had issued updated best practice guidance for this area of licensing. As such, through this Officer report, the Committee is advised of those elements of the updated best practice guidance that raise matters concerning this Council’s policy and the implementation of it. Accordingly, the Committee is provided with this opportunity to review these matters and determine whether it is content with the proposed actions on those maters set out in this report.

 

This report also enables the Committee to receive an update on the implementation programme for of the Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy as prepared by Officers in accordance with the decision of Cabinet. This implementation plan is set out at Appendix B of this report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting held on 16 October 2023, it had authorised the new Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy to be submitted to Cabinet for adoption. The Licensing Policy had subsequently been approved and adopted by Cabinet on 10 November 2023 and would remain in effect for five years (subject to any review in response to changes in regulation or guidance).

 

Members heard that the decision of Cabinet on the Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy (at Minute 51 of Cabinet’s meeting on 10 November 2023) had been as follows:

 

a)    Approves the final draft statement of Taxi/Private Hire Policy, as set out in Appendix A to item A.6 of the Report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing & Planning, for adoption and publication;

 

b)    Authorises Officers to develop (over the coming months), and implement, a programme to bring the policy positions in the approved Statement into operation; and

 

c)     Authorises Officers to make minor amendments to the Taxi/Private Hire Policy in order to take account of such matters as legislative changes and Government Guidance on taxi and private hire licensing.

 

The Committee was told that since that Cabinet decision referred to, the Department for Trasport had issued its new Best Practice Guidance on 17 November 2023.

 

Officers told Members that, the Council, in preparing its Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy, had had regard to a consultation by Government on an updated Best Practice Guidance. However, as referred to, Government had not issued its response to the consultation (and the new Best Practice Guidance) until after this Council had approved its new policy.

 

The Committee also heard that four matters namely, (i) daily licensed vehicle checks, (ii) age policy for licensed vehicles, (iii) the review period for Taxi Ranks and (iv) penalty point schemes for licensed drivers and operators had been highlighted as matters upon which this Committee’s view would be greatly appreciated (prior to any decisions (by Officers/Cabinet) being taken in respect of those matters).

 

The Head of Democratic Services and Elections made Members aware that the retention period would be coming back to the Committee and that the Portfolio Holder had been consulted and that they had consented to that course of action.

 

It was moved by Councillor Casey, seconded by Councillor Davidson and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)   the Committee notes the approach being taken, as set out in Part 3 (Background) section (and Appendix B) of the Officer report (A.4) to the following matters identified in the recently updated published Government Best Practice Guidance:

 

(i)             Daily licensed vehicle checks;

(ii)            Age policy for licensed vehicles;

(iii)           Review period for Taxi Ranks;

(iv)           Penalty Point Scheme; and

 

(b)   the Committee agrees to the course of action set out in Part 3 (Background) section of the Officer report (A.4) to the matters referenced above and otherwise agrees to the implementation programme for the Taxi/Private Hire Licensing Policy, as set out in Appendix A of the aforesaid Officer report.

33.

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive - A.5 - Various Licensing Provisions - Applications Approved Under Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 85 KB

This report seeks to provide the Committee with date on the number of licences, certificates and permits authorised by the Council in quarter 2 2023/24. The majority of these have been authorised by Officers in accordance with approved schemes of delegation. Data is provided to Committee on the most recent complete quarters (April to June, July to September, October to December and January to March) together with previous quarters so as to aid comparison between quarters and years. Enforcement figures will be reported on at the next Committee meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee was given details of the licences, certificates and permits recently granted which were set out in the Officer report as follows with separate headings:

 

(i)             Premises Licences/Club Premises Certificates

 

The total of Premises Licences / Club Premises Certificates that have been approved under Delegated Powers during the period 31 August 2022 to 31 January 2023.  For comparison, the following also shows the numbers approved for the periods shown:

 

Type of Licence

Number of Licences as at

January to March 2023

(Q4 2022/23)

April to June 2023

(Q1 2023/24)

July to Sept 2023 (Q2 2023/24)

Oct to Dec 2023 (Q3 2023/24)

Premises Licences/Club Premises Certificates - Approved

26

15

16

10

 

(ii)            Personal Licences under the Licensing Act 2003

 

The total of Personal Licences approved under Delegated Powers since 7 February 2005, the 'First Appointed Day' on the dates shown were.

 

Type of Licence

Number of Licences as at

March 2023

(End of Q4 2022/23)

June 2023

(End of Q1 2023/24)

July to Sept 2023 (Q2 2023/24)

Oct to Dec 2023 (Q3 2023/24)

Personal Licences

2381

2409

2436

2456

 

 

(iii)           Gambling Licences/Permits

 

Below is a table showing the number of gambling licences and permits that were licensed with this Authority on the dates shown.

 

Type of Licence

Number of Licences as at

March 2023

(End of Q4 2022/23)

June 2023

(End of Q1 2023/24)

July to Sept 2023 (Q2 2023/24)

Oct to Dec 2023 (Q3 2023/24)

Adult Gaming Centres

19

19

17

17

Betting Premises

11

11

11

11

Bingo Premises

15

15

15

15

Family Entertainment Centres

2

2

0

0

Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres

29

29

27

27

Prize Gaming Permits

2

1

1

1

Club Gaming & Club Machine Permits

23

23

22

22

Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits

21

22

21

21

Licensed Premises Machine Notifications

116

116

116

122

Small Society Lottery Permits

117

116

114

122

 

(iv)           Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licence

 

Below is a table showing the number of drivers, vehicles and operators that were licensed with this Authority on the dates shown.

 

Type of Licence

Number of Licences as at

March 2023

(End of Q4 2022/23)

June 2023

(End of Q1 2023/24)

July to Sept 2023 (Q2 2023/24)

Oct to Dec 2023 (Q3 2023/24)

Hackney Carriage Driver

280

279

285

287

Private Hire Driver

6

6

6

6

Hackney Carriage Vehicle

200

198

200

202

Private Hire Vehicle

27

27

28

29

Private Hire Operator

18

19

20

19

Temporary Insurance Vehicles

3

2

1

2

 

Although the number of driver applications processed is broadly the same now has been the case over the last year, there has been a drop in the number of existing licenced drivers renewing (and a comparative increase in new individuals becoming licensed.

 

 

Members heard that, in addition to the information above, the Committee at its next meeting, would receive a report on the progress undertaken against the routine inspection position agreed at this point in 2023 and that it would be invited to determine the routine inspection  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Date of the Next Meeting of the Committee

To enable the Committee to discuss fixing the date of its next meeting which is likely to be held in March 2024.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Monday, 25 March 2024, commencing at 6.30 p.m.

35.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider passing the following resolution:-

 

“that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Items XX and XX on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.”

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor Wiggins and:-

 

RESOLVED that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of Agenda Items 14 and 15 on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, as amended, of the Act.

36.

Exempt Minutes - Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee

The Committee will formally receive and note, for its information only, the exempt minutes of the meeting of the Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee held on Monday, 11 December 2023.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor Wiggins and:-

 

RESOLVED that the exempt minutes of the meeting of the Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee held on Monday, 11 December 2023 be formally received and noted.

37.

Exempt Minutes - Premises/Personal Licences Sub-Committee

The Committee will formally receive and note, for its information only, the exempt minutes of the meetings of the Premises/Personal Licences Sub-Committee held on Monday, 13 November 2023 and Friday, 24 November 2023.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Davidson, seconded by Councillor Wiggins and:-

 

RESOLVED that the exempt minutes of the meetings of the Premises and Personal Licences Sub-Committee held on Monday, 13 November 2023 and Friday, 24 November 2023 be formally received and noted.